Texas auto fatalities increase in 2017

HOUSTON- – If you think you are seeing more deadly crashes on local roadways, you are right.

Last year, the Texas Department of Transportation said more than 3,700 people were killed on Texas roadways in 2017, marking  a 10 percent increase in traffic deaths from the previous year. 

TxDOT reported that traffic fatalities have continued to rise every year since 2010.

"More people moving into the state means more people on Texas highways and the greater chance of more traffic collisions with people getting hurt," said Mark Hanna, a spokesman for the Insurance Council of Texas. "But alcohol, speeding and distracted driving remain the major factors in the majority of accidents on our roadways today."

A new law to curb distracted driving went into effect Sept.1, 2017, making it illegal to text while driving.

But distracted driving isn't just texting, it is anything that diverts the driver's attention, which includes talking on the phone, eating and adjusting the car stereo.

The Insurance Council of Texas said another factor that could be contributing to the rise in fatal crashes is lower gasoline prices.