Fatal Wrecks on the Rise in the Panhandle


Fatal wrecks are on the rise in Texas and here on the High Plains.

Already this year, our local Department of Public Safety office reports 20 fatal accidents in our area.

That's compared to just eight during the same time period in 2013, and 11 during this time period in 2012.

"Seems like driver inattention is a big thing that we have nowadays, you know, people are on their cell phones, their GPS, they're changing their music, they're doing whatever. They just don't pay attention like they used to and that's doing a lot of damage," Trooper Chris Ray, with the local DPS said.

Ray says more people on the roads and increasing speed limits may contribute as well.

He also says, over the past two years, multiple fatality wrecks have gone up.

"Of coures last year, we had fatalities that involved multiple deaths. We had one in Sunray that killed several teenagers. We had one in Dumas that killed the 'Texas' cast members, so the multiple fatalities are also on the rise," Trooper Ray said.

TxDot wants to get the message out to those young drivers, to keep them safe on the roads.

"Right now, we're using Vine videos and Twitter to try to reach teens. And what we hope to do is the teens will hear that through a medium that they're used to and retweet that," Paul Braun, with the Amarillo TxDot office said. 

Braun also says they hope the large signs displaying the number of fatalities statewide will hit home for drivers, and keep people safe on the roads.

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