The death toll on Texas highways increased another 3.59% in 2016. Learn how to keep yourself safe by understanding these statistics.

The fatality rate on Texas roads rose to 1.44 deaths per 100 million miles, which represents about a 3.59% increase from 2015.

This data comes from the Texas Motor Vehicle Crash Facts for 2016.

The total 2016 death toll increased 5.45% to 3,773 from 3,578 in 2015.

Look, I understand statistics in and of themselves are…well…pretty boring.

But, don’t just look at these statistics and shrug them off. Let them inform you on your own driving so you know how to give yourself the best chance of being safe.

You don’t want to become one of these statistics for the 2017 version of the calendar, right?

So, let these stats show you what to do (and not do):

Wear Your Seat Belt

Maybe you feel cooler when not wearing your seat belt…like you’re taking a risk or being rebellious or something. Or, maybe you just forget.

Well, make buckling up a real priority.

43.71% of the 3,773 people who died on Texas roads in 2016 didn’t wear their seatbelt at the time of the crash.

Don’t Relax If You Live in the Country

Less people in the country, right? So, it must be much safer there than anywhere in the Metroplex, shouldn’t it?

That reasoning sounds right.

But data doesn’t support it.

In fact, rural driving is slightly more dangerous than in the city. 1,942 deaths (51.47%) of all 2016 fatalities happened in rural areas.

Don’t relax on your safe driving skills, even when you’re away from civilization.

Like to Ride?

You don’t have to wear your motorcycle helmet in Texas if you’re over 21 and have either $10,000 in insurance or have completed a Motorcycle Operator Training Course.

Motorcycles are tough and represent rugged self-reliance.

…But you still want to wear your helmet.

53% of motorcyclists killed (496) did not wear a helmet at the time of the crash.

Pedestrians And Bicyclists at Much Greater Risk

Pedestrian fatalities jumped to 678 in 2016, a stunning 21.5% higher than 2015.

And bicyclists fared even worse…fatalities skyrocketed a shocking 25% over 2015!

You know you’re at greater risk in both cases. But those numbers show you just how much your risk has increased.

Always compensate for motorists and assume they’ll do the wrong thing – be a “defensive” pedestrian or bicyclist.

You Have a Good Chance of a Fatal Crash Even If You’re Driving Alone

Most crashes that happen involve more than one vehicle.

But not all happen that way.

If you’re driving alone, don’t relax on the caution you use. Continue to avoid distracted driving (texting, eating, talking on your phone, putting on your make-up, or whatever you do), as 34.27% of all deaths, or 1,293, involved just a single vehicle running off the road.

When DUI Crashes Happen

Unsurprisingly, most DUIs/alcohol crashes happen between 2:00 AM and 2:59 AM. And they’re most likely to happen on Saturday.

Avoid driving after bar time on Friday and Saturday if you can.

If you have to be on the road during those hours (if you work third shift for example), use extra caution.

Look, I can present crash data all day and night.

But it’s up to you to follow through and observe safe driving habits to the best of your ability.

Because, life is too precious to end several decades early. Be vigilant.

Stay safe out there.

Read these defensive driving tips, and make it a point to improve your awareness of them the next time you’re out on the roads.