According to a recent study conducted by CarInsuranceComparison.com, Texas may be one of the most dangerous states to in which to drive. While Texas may not have the highest number of annual car accidents or car accident fatalities in the country, the state ranked high on certain factors used in the study to assess dangerousness like number of driving tickets issued.
The study ranked all 50 states based on a score derived from traffic safety statistics, such as drunk driving, fatalities, traffic tickets and careless driving. The higher a state’s score, the worse the drivers in the state were rated. Texas failed to rank above the median in any traffic safety category and ranked as one of the worst when it came to traffic citations. As a result, Texas’ composite score was the third highest, making its drivers the third worst in the country. Drivers in Louisiana were ranked as the worst drivers in the country, and drivers in Rhode Island were ranked as the safest.
The traffic safety statistics used in the study also reflect common causes of car accidents in Texas like drunk driving, careless driving and failure to obey the rules of the road. To improve the level of safety on Texas’s roads, drivers in the state should remember a few points:
- DWI in Texas: A driver is legally intoxicated in Texas and may be arrested and charged with a DWI with a 0.08 blood alcohol concentration. A driver can also be charged with DWI if impaired because of alcohol or other drugs regardless of BAC.
- Speed Limits: In Texas, the maximum daytime speed limit on most interstate and state highways is 70 miles per hour. When the sun sets, the maximum speed is 65 miles per hour. Drivers should travel slower than posted speed limits during inclement weather like rain, ice or fog.
- Fatigue: Drowsy driving is becoming a more recognized danger on the road in Texas and across the country. A driver is too tired to drive when he or she cannot stop yawning, has wandering thoughts, drifts in between lanes, or fights closing his or her eyes. To remain alert, drivers should get out and stretch every two hours, avoid driving between midnight and 6 a.m., and get plenty of rest before a long drive.
- Distracted Driving: Even though Texas does not have laws banning the use of cellphones while driving, it remains a traffic safety issue in the state. One in four crashes involves distracted driving, and drivers who use cellphones behind the wheel have a substantially higher risk of accident than drivers who do not. Drivers who need to make a call or use their cellphone should pull over.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a traffic accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your legal options.