Austin Police report: Most deadly crashes happen after midnight

Crash stats show trends of prior police involvement, license suspensions

Austin Police are investigating a fatal auto-pedestrian crash on N Lamar and Longspur. (photo courtesy Alicia Inns)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — New numbers from the Austin Police Department help shed light on the contributing factors to a rise in deaths on Austin roads.

While investigators are still investigating some some of the deadly crashes or are waiting on toxicology results, the report highlights the majority of incidents happen after midnight. The study was on the 76 crashes that occurred starting from January this year to August; since then there have been five more crashes.

The report breaks down the deaths into four categories: pedestrian, motorcycle, motor vehicle and bicycle.

FATALITY TYPE # OF FATAL COLLISIONS # OF FATALITIES
Pedestrian 22 23
Motorcycle 11 11
Motor vehicle 33 41
Bicycle 1 1
TOTAL 67 76

Pedestrian Deaths

APD found 95 percent of the 23 pedestrian fatalities to be involving a victim who crossed when or where crossing was prohibited. Eighty-two percent of the overall number of pedestrian fatalities were on a highway or high speed roadway. The APD report also illustrates that 68% of the deaths happened during nighttime hours.

A man is dead following an accident involving a pedestrian and an 18-wheeler on I-35.
A man is dead following an accident involving a pedestrian and an 18-wheeler on I-35.

The report also found:

  • 41% involved impairment
  • 43% of those killed were transient
  • 43% of those at fault were over the age of 45
  • 87% of those killed had prior involvement with APD

Motorcycle deaths

The APD report shows 55 percent of motorcycle deaths happened on high capacity city streets; only one occurred on Interstate 35. Of the 11 people killed, APD says 36 percent did not have a license (three of the victims did not have a motorcycle license and a fourth had no license at all.) More than a quarter of the victims had a previous license suspension while more than half of those killed had previous convictions (including traffic violations). In fact, the report outlines four of the five victims found to be speeding had previously been cited for speeding. One of the victims had seven previous speeding convictions.

The report also found:

  • 3 of 11 incidents happened in the 1:00 a.m. hour
  • 73% of those at fault were 45 or younger
  • 36% involved impairment

Motor vehicle deaths

Forty-one people were killed in motor vehicle collisions so far in 2015.  Of the 41 people killed, 85 percent happened on a highway or high-capacity roadway. Impairment was involved in 55 percent of

Source: APD
Source: APD

the crashes. Speeding was found to be a contributing factor to deaths in 39 percent of crashes. There were five head-on collisions and five collisions due to running a red light or stop sign.

Friday and Saturday were found to be the most common days for deadly vehicle collisions (21% each), and most (42%) incidents happened between midnight and 5 a.m.

The APD report also detailed:

  • 61% of those had prior involvement with APD and had previously been arrested
  • 2 drivers with more than 30 suspensions both had suspended licenses at the time of the deadly crash
  • 3 drivers who were impaired at the time of the deadly crash had previous DWIs; none had valid licenses
  • 31% of those involved had at least one previous license suspension
    APD notes: “One driver who was impaired, speeding and ran a red light killing the driver of another vehicle had 24 previous suspensions and 6 previous speeding convictions.”
  • 44% had at lease one previous DL conviction
    • 13 drivers were speeding
    • 6 of those 13 had three prior speeding convictions
  • 42% of those at fault were between the ages of 26 and 35

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