In East Texas, the haunting specter of fatal crashes continues to cast a somber shadow over the region's roadways

The Texas Department Of Transportation recently released its 2023 Fatal Crash Statistics and the news is not good for East Texas as our area dealt with hundreds of crashes and deaths.

Several contributing factors resulted in 184 fatal crashes and 209 deaths in the Tyler District in 2023.

car crash accident on street, damaged automobiles after collision in city

According to a press release from TxDOT, the TxDOT Tyler District, which includes Anderson, Cherokee, Gregg, Henderson, Rusk, Smith, Van Zandt, and Wood Counties, continue to experience one of the highest fatality rates in the state.

Tyler District Engineer Vernon Webb said in a statement that 2023 was the "worst year on record, in terms of number of fatalities".

The Top 5 Contributing Factors To Fatal Crashes.

On the Car Crash Traffic Accident Scene: Rescue Team of Firefighters Pull Female Victim out of Rollover Vehicle, They Use Stretchers Carefully, Hand Her Over to Paramedics who Perform First Aid
Getty Images/iStockphoto

The data in these reports represents the number of crashes that had at least one driver reported as having the indicated contributing factor.

Crashes can have none or multiple contributing factors. Therefore, the total number of crashes for these reports will not equal the total number of crashes in the Tyler District.

  1. Unsafe Speed - 36 total fatal crashes
  2. Failed to Drive in a Single Lane – 32 total fatal crashes
  3. DUI (Alcohol) – 27 total fatal crashes
  4. Pedestrian Failed to Yield ROW to Vehicle – 21 total fatal crashes
  5. Wrong Side, Not Passing – 17 total fatal crashes

A majority of the fatality crashes are occurring in the rural areas on two-lane roadways.


There were more alarming stats when you dig deeper into the numbers:

  • Rural traffic crashes accounted for 74% of the district’s traffic fatalities. 154 people died in rural traffic crashes in 2023.
  • DUI-related fatalities continued to rise with 60 DUI-related fatalities in 2023 compared to 55 in 2022 and 33 in 2021.
  • Single-vehicle, run-off-the-road crashes resulted in 60 deaths in 2023. That is 29% of all motor vehicle deaths in the district.
  • There were 58 deaths involving unrestrained vehicle passengers. This figure represents crashes where restraint usage was applicable, and usage was known
  • 22 distracted driving deaths occurred in 2023, a 30% increase from 2022 (17).
  • There were 25 pedestrian fatalities in 2023, the same as in 2022 and 2 pedal-cyclist fatalities in 2023.
  • 56 people died in crashes occurring at intersections or related to an intersection. This is a 27% increase from 2022 (44).
  • 24 fatalities occurred in both May 2023 and December 2023, tied for the most of any month
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And 2024 Is Not Off To A Good Start.

Vehicle accident
John Panella

Over the first 64 days of 2024, the Tyler District has had 17 fatal crashes, resulting in 17 fatalities. Efforts to address this issue require a multi-faceted approach, including enhanced driver education, stricter enforcement of traffic laws, and infrastructure improvements.

As East Texas grapples with this pressing concern, collective endeavors are crucial to fostering safer roads and preventing the heartbreak of more lives lost.

The 11 Deadliest Roads In East Texas

This is list is based upon the roads with the most fatal accidents.

Watch Out, Wrecks At These Tyler Intersections Make Them Dangerous

Tyler drivers are not immune to traffic accidents. In 2023, the Tyler Police Department received more than 5000 calls about accidents and 1100+ were defined as major accidents.

Here's a look at some of the intersections and streets that had the most reported accidents in 2023 in no particular order.

Gallery Credit: Lucky Larry, Mix 93-1

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The Longview Health Department stopped by these area restaurants and performed a routine inspection on the place. The majority of those inspected did well while a couple of them had some issues that they had to correct and retrain some staff on.

Gallery Credit: Lucky Larry, Mix 93-1

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