After more than three decades of safer and safer highways, the number of traffic accidents in Texas which resulted in an injury or a fatality has seen a disturbing rebound in the last two years, 1200 WOAI news reports.
There were just over 153,000 accidents in Texas in 2013 which resulted in an injury or a death, that is up from a low of 139,000 in 2011.
Before the recent jump, the figures provided by the Insurance Council of Texas had shown steadily decreasing auto accident rates in the state dating back to 1980.
But the Insurance Council's Mark Hanna says most of the wrecks we see on Texas highways are preventable.
"A third of all of these crashes are going to be due to some type of alcohol consumption, another third is going to be due to some type of speed factor," he said.
And Hanna said the new player on the scene is distracted driving, with more and more cell phones and other technological devices being used in cars.
But Hanna says the bump in bad traffic wrecks over the past two years has been largely due to the state's booming economy.
"We have more people on the highways, and people with more money in their pockets, they're getting out of their homes and driving more," he said.
He also points out that much of the economic boom has been in the very truck intensive Eagle Ford and Cline Shale oil regions. Traffic accidents are way up in the Eagle Ford, due to the huge number of oil trucks rumbling down rural roads which were built to handling nothing heavier than a farm tractor or pickup truck.
Declining accident rates since the middle 1970s not just in Texas but across the country have been credited to safer roads and safer vehicles.