There have been more total crashes, major crashes and traffic fatalities in Fort Bend County so far in 2021 than during the same timeframe last year, according to a Sept. 22 press release from the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office.

From Jan. 1-Sept. 15, 16 traffic fatalities occurred on Fort Bend County roads, data from the sheriff’s office shows. This is up from 11 fatalities reported during the same months last year, a 45% increase.

The number of major crashes increased from 548 in 2020 to 619 in 2021, a 13% increase. And, the number of total crashes rose nearly 16% from 2,535 in 2021 to 2,193 in 2020.

“Sheriff’s office personnel urge the public to drive safely and help reduce injuries and fatalities in our county,” Fort Bend County Sheriff Eric Fagan said in the release. “Everyone’s driving safety is of great concern to us.”

Fagan said construction on roads, speeding and consumption of alcohol are contributing factors in many collisions.

In an effort to reduce the number of crashes, the sheriff’s office said it will be increasing traffic enforcement and spearheading programs to inform the public about the dangers of distracted driving and speeding.

“Driving more defensively, reducing speed, designating a driver to take you home if you have been drinking alcohol and delaying the urge to text is perhaps the best advice I can give,” Fagan said in the release.

The Texas Department of Transportation reports a total of 1,426 deaths on Texas highways in 2021, according to the release.