Most people who drive on Texas roadways commonly view their fellow drivers as a lot more reckless and downright dangerous than they are, and up until recently they probably figured it was just their imagination. Unfortunately, a new study has come out showing that perhaps Texas drivers were being kind in their assessment; the drivers here are apparently really bad.
A recent study by a company that compares auto insurance rates attempted to rate all 50 states’ driving records by looking at statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in a number of different categories, including the accident fatality rate, the number of fatal accidents involving failure to obey traffic signals, wear seatbelts or maintain a valid license; and the number of fatalities involving speeding, careless driving and drunk driving, as well as the fatality rates involving bicycles and pedestrians. When they added all of the scores together, Texas scored a solid third, meaning we have the third-worst drivers in the country.
Exactly How Dangerous Is It To Drive In Texas?
The state earned its poor record because we fared poorly in all categories; the best we did was coming in 22nd worst in the category of failure to obey. Texas was also the 14th worst for speeding, which is surprising given the posted speed limits on many highways, but only 11 states had overall fatality numbers that were worse than ours. Only eight states had worse records than Texas when it came to careless driving, but the most troubling rating we had was for drunk driving; only five states had worse records for drunk driving fatalities.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, in 2013 alone, there were 3,377 fatalities on Texas roads, and well over half, or 1,883, of them were from alcohol-related crashes. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), that’s a greater number of fatalities than any other state. In all, there were more than 25,000 crashes, which led to more than 17,000 injuries, in addition to the fatalities.
To put things into perspective, according to the NHTSA, more than ten percent of all drunk driving fatalities that occurred nationwide happened in Texas. More disappointing is that these numbers show no signs of improving, despite a number of educational programs designed to warn people of the dangers of driving while intoxicated.