Kaufman County is growing and FAST. We are quickly transitioning from rural/agricultural to suburban landscape. What once was pastureland and rolling east Texas landscape is now turning into neighborhood after neighborhood and bustling street to bustling street. Especially the corridor between 175 in Crandall to Highway 80 in Forney and beyond. It seems like if you don’t pass through an area for a month or two the next time you go through a new neighborhood has popped up. Now, that is great for local businesses and the local economy, but such consistently high growth puts a strain on the transportation systems of these once smaller communities to make up for the additional drivers on the roads. This is Texas, afterall. Everyone has to drive because everything is at least a 20 minute drive.
TxDot recently released the 2017 crash statistics which has some positive and negative results for Kaufman county. First, the overall number of crashes is actually down. That’s right. Down. Kaufman county went from 2,008 total crashes in 2016 to 1,897 in 2017. We also saw a flatline in the number of injury accidents and incapacitating injury accidents, when taking into account the high number of new drivers on the roads, that is a positive. There were 177 non-incapactating accidents in 2016, and the number only moved to 179 in 2017 with an increase of only 3 additional injuries overall to 244 from 241. The number of serious accidents went way down from 118 to 78 and there were 108 serious injuries, down from 145 in 2016. That is a testament to the local communities efforts to upgrade the roadways to make them safer for local drivers.
The negative is that the number of fatality accidents are considerably up. In 2017 there were 27 fatality crashes that resulted in the deaths of 31 people. In 2016, there were only 21 fatality accidents resulting in 28 deaths. Overall, not that big of a jump in deaths, but the number of fatality crashes is up by almost a third. That has to be a worry for local communities moving forward as this county continues to grow and prosper under Texas’ strong economy. As jobs and housing continues to come into Kaufman county, we can only expect that this number will continue to rise.