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Saturday marks 20 years that someone has died on Texas roads every day

An average of 10 people are killed on Texas roads each day, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.

TEXAS, USA — Editor's note: This article previously stated that more than 77,000 people died on Texas roads in 20 years. The article has been updated to reflect that more than 70,000 people have died.

20 years. More than 70,000 lives ended early. All on Texas roads.

Saturday, Nov. 7, marks 20 years of someone dying on a Texas road every single day, a troubling trend that the Texas Department of Transportation is vigorously working to change.

“It finally hit me like a ton of bricks that these numbers were not statistics, these numbers were someone's mother, someone's father, someone's child,” Texas Transportation Commissioner Laura Ryan said. “I won't forget the stories. The sad reality is that we can prevent traffic deaths.”

According to TxDOT, an average of 10 people are killed on Texas roads each day.

RELATED: Austin has fewer people on the roads this year, but more people are dying

And even despite the COVID-19 pandemic, which dropped traffic levels by up to 44% across the state, the death rate was unchanged, TxDOT reports.

In May 2019, the Texas Transportation Commission set the goal of cutting the number of traffic deaths in half by 2035 and fully eliminating them by 2050.

Commissioner Ryan said the commission ensures that every road improvement project includes safety features that help improve the state’s infrastructure.

The agency also runs an End The Streak initiative to help raise awareness about the deadly trend.

Some of the most important reminders include wearing a seatbelt, avoiding distractions or devices while driving, slowing down, and not driving under the influence.

“It's going to take an individual commitment from every Texan and each of us to end this streak,” Commissioner Ryan said.

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