Traffic Deaths

Traffic on the double-decker portion of I-35 through downtown Austin.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Texas Transportation Commission on Thursday voted to adopt a goal of reducing traffic fatalities on the state's roadways by half by the year 2035 — and reducing them to zero by the year 2050. 

The U.S is on pace to record close to 40,000 roadway and highway deaths for the third consecutive year, according to preliminary figures released Wednesday by the National Safety Council. The silver lining in those dark numbers is that the number of people dying each year in traffic collisions nationwide appears to be leveling off after two years of sharp increases.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Part 1 of a three-part series

Fourteen-year-old Alexei Bauereis had quit the backyard stunts like jumping from trees onto roofs and downhill skateboarding that defined his childhood. He was saving his legs for ballet.