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New study finds Texas roads are the deadliest this holiday season

As many of you hit the road this week to visit family and friends, so will thousands of others...
As many of you hit the road this week to visit family and friends, so will thousands of others meaning accidents can happen. (Photo: KWTX News 10 SkyCam)(KWTX)
Published: Dec. 19, 2021 at 5:38 PM CST
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - As many of you hit the road this week to visit family and friends, so will thousands of others meaning accidents can happen.

The Christmas season can be an extremely busy time for most people, but that’s nothing compared to the many accidents that DPS troopers like Bryan Washko have to deal with.

“We see it on a daily basis. We’ll be the first one’s on scene of a big accident and the ambulance may be 20-30 miles away, depending on where we’re at,” he said.

“We work late into the night and sometimes not until the sun comes up.”

According to a recent study by HelpAdvisor, Texas is the deadliest state for holiday driving. They found out that from 2015 to 2020, Texas had 298 fatal car accidents with many of them having alcohol or texting involved as a distracting factor. Even worse, Washko adds that the state has hit a grim mile stone this year.

“Right now, in Texas, we’re almost at the 4,000 mark of fatalities just for this year,” he said.

“We normally average around 3,600 a year so we’re already way past last year already and unfortunately, we still have a couple of weeks to go for this year.”

Other factors that have caused these accidents include trailing too close behind others on an interstate or highway, jumping in and out of lanes, being distracted by a GPS or falling asleep at the wheel. So, how can Central Texas drivers be safe?

“If you’re traveling behind somebody, make sure you have enough time to react and slow down,” he said.

“If you need to send a message, have your other passenger send it for you and if you don’t have that, either pull over to send the message or just wait.”

Some more tips include getting plenty of rest before traveling, making sure your seatbelt is fastened, no drinking, and always being aware of your surroundings. While these things may sound simple, Washko says following them could make a difference in saving your life.

“These individuals are not bad people,” he said.

“They just made bad choices. We like to see people having fun and doing it responsibly. We want them to do it safely so they can get everyone back home to their families.”

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