Vehicle-Related Flood Fatalities in Texas, 1959–2019
Sharif, Hatim O.
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Texas has the highest number of flood fatalities and vehicle-related flood fatalities in the United States. This study provides a detailed analysis of vehicle-related flood fatalities in Texas from 1959 to 2019. The data was compiled from the <i>Storm Data</i> publication maintained by the National Weather Service and includes demographics of the victims, dates, flood types, roadway types, and fatality location. There were 570 vehicle-related flood fatalities during the study period, with almost all fatal accidents resulting in one fatality. These fatalities represent 58% of total flood fatalities. The spatial analysis reveals that most counties with high vehicle-related flood fatalities are clustered in Flash Flood Alley. These counties accounted for over 80% of the fatalities. The annual distribution of these fatalities follows a statistically significant decreasing trend. Monthly distribution of vehicle-related fatalities follows that of rainfall in the Flash Flood Alley, with flash floods causing 61% of all vehicle-related flood fatalities. Night was the time of the day when the most vehicle-related deaths occurred. Males accounted for 63% of the fatalities and the age group of 20–29 was the most affected. The study discusses how the results can be used to increase awareness of flood hazards, used as input into state and regional disaster mitigation plans, and help tailor education and outreach programs.