Texas Earns Poor Grade In Road Safety Policies
The National Safety Council (NSC) is a nonprofit organization that promotes health and safety across the country. Recently, the NSC analyzed all 50 states and graded each one for its efforts to promote road safety. Unfortunately for Texans, our state received barely a passing grade and was found to be extremely deficient in several important areas.
About The NSC’s Road Safety Study
When grading each state, the NSC looked at policies and legislation regarding motor vehicle accident and injury risk factors, including:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol
- Child passenger safety
- Distracted driving
- Elderly drivers
- Seat belt use
- Teenage drivers
- Vulnerable road users (bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorcyclists)
The NSC analyzed each state’s laws to see if they addressed each risk factor specifically and thoroughly to promote safe driving behaviors.
How Texas Stacks Up
While Texas has plenty of legislation against driving under the influence, requiring wearing seatbelts, and monitoring elderly drivers, it was deficient in the remaining five factors. Texas ranked extremely poor in child passenger safety, with very few policies dictating age and weight requirements for children in car seats. The state also performed very poorly with regard to speeding, teenage drivers, and vulnerable road users. Texas is notorious for having some of the highest posted speed limits in the country, and this can have a severe effect on the outcome of car accidents.
Despite a recent initiative to require young drivers to take distracted driving education before receiving a driver’s license, teen drivers in Texas have fewer restrictions and requirements than teens in other states. In terms of protecting vulnerable road users, Texas just isn’t doing as much as other states, including not requiring motorcycle helmets for all riders.
Texas did rank slightly better when it comes to distracted driving, although there is plenty of room for improvement. Texas was one of the last states to implement a cell phone ban while driving, which just recently went into effect.