WACO, TX – So far this year there have been 13 fatal car crashes in Waco, up from 10 last year, according to Waco Police Department data.
The uptick in fatal car crashes in Waco, which is mirrored elsewhere in the state, comes as a bit of a surprise to traffic safety experts since there have been fewer cars on the road during the pandemic.
Jay Blazek Crossley, director of the Vision Zero Texas initiative, said that the main culprit is speed.
“This year it’s been really devastating to basically open up all of those roadways designed like raceways and people feel like they can go for it,” Crossley said.
He also said people are taking more chances on the roads because they are agitated and stressed out because of the pandemic.
Jake Smith of the Waco division of the Texas Department of Transportation said that, in addition to speeding, some Texans are engaging in other dangerous driving behaviors.
“We’re still seeing driver inattention, or distracted driving,” Smith said. “Drinking and driving is still happening of course, not buckling up.”
Smith also said that the uptick in fatal car crashes during the pandemic is part of a larger, multiyear trend.