Deadly Destinations: Dallas Leads in Traffic-Related Deaths

In the sprawling urban landscape of Dallas, Texas, a hidden danger lurks on its roads, a peril that has catapulted the city into an unenviable position: Dallas now holds the highest traffic fatality rate among the ten largest cities in the United States. This worrying trend, highlighted by recent data spanning 2017 to 2021, casts a shadow on the city’s bustling streets and highways.

A Disturbing Trend in Road Safety

Reviewing the most recent five years of federal highway traffic safety available from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), NBC 5 found the city of Dallas averages 15 traffic deaths per 100,000 people.  Dallas’ roads have become more lethal than those other major cities: Dallas’ fatality rate is 22% higher than Fort Worth, 51% higher than Los Angeles, and even 27% higher than Houston (where our northwest Houston law firm is located!). Dallas has seen more than 1,000 lives lost in vehicle accidents since 2019 alone, and more than 5,600 seriously injured. These figures are startling, even considering Dallas’ status as a major metropolitan area with a population exceeding one million. The city’s traffic death rate stands out not just regionally but also nationally, reflecting a deep-rooted problem in road safety. As vehicle accident attorneys, we find this trend very alarming.

The Deadly Impact of Speeding

An in-depth analysis points to excessive speeding as the main culprit in these fatal incidents. However, it’s not just any speeding – it’s the excessive, reckless kind. This behavior isn’t confined to the anonymity of highways; it spills over onto city streets as well, where the mix of high speeds, pedestrian traffic, and urban congestion creates a recipe for tragedy and disaster. Driving under the influence and failure to stay in the lane are also significant contributing factors.

Beyond the Highways: City Streets at Risk

This prevalence of high-speed, reckless, and aggressive driving in urban areas poses an enormous risk. Research has consistently shown that higher speeds drastically increase the likelihood of fatal or severe injuries in collisions. However, even an increase of just 10 mph significantly increases the risk of death or injury. In Dallas, this problem is magnified by the city’s layout and the behavior of its motorists, turning even routine drives into potentially dangerous journeys.

The Road Ahead: Seeking Solutions

To address this pressing issue, experts recommend a shift in road design philosophy. The goal is to create streets that naturally encourage slower driving. This could mean narrowing lanes, adding more pedestrian crossings, and implementing various traffic calming measures. Such changes are essential not only for reducing the incidence of fatal crashes, but also for enhancing the overall quality of life in the city.

Dallas’ situation is a stark reminder of the ongoing battle for road safety. While the city’s traffic fatality rate is alarmingly high, it is not alone in this struggle. Other cities across the nation face similar challenges, underscoring the need for comprehensive and proactive measures to improve road safety. The high rate of fatalities and injuries demands not only structural changes but also a cultural shift towards more responsible driving and stricter enforcement of traffic laws.

As Dallas confronts its road safety crisis, the lessons learned here could serve as valuable insights for other cities grappling with similar issues. The journey towards safer streets is long and complex, but it is a necessary one. For the residents of Dallas, and indeed for all urban dwellers, the promise of safer roads is a promise of a better, more secure life.

We at the Herd Law Firm, PLLC, are drivers and motorcycle riders, too! We support drivers, bikers and motorcyclists injured on the road, and have successfully represented such victims seeking the assistance and compensation they so need and deserve.


Read more here: Dallas traffic death rate worst among 10 largest U.S. cities – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth (

Sources: National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and NBC5 DFW

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