A state audit of the Texas Department of Transportation reported that Texas traffic fatalities have decreased almost 15 percent since 2006. The audit report stated that in 2010 Texas saw 3,028 traffic deaths and about 234 billion miles of driving. According to a formulation used by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for evaluating road safety, that equates to 1.29 deaths per 100 million miles driven in Texas. This rate fell in comparison with 1.5 deaths per 100 million miles traveled in 2006. National fatalities per 100 million miles fell from 1.42 in 2006 to 1.11 in 2010; this is a 21.8 percent drop.
Although it is getting safer to drive on Texas roads, these roads are still more dangerous than the rest of the country as a whole. In 2009, Texas was the 16th most dangerous state for drivers. At this same time, Montana was the most dangerous state with Massachusetts being the safest state for drivers.
In explaining Texas’ comparatively higher vehicle fatality rate, TxDOT officials pointed to stricter law in other states related to distracted driving. According to transportation officials, increased seat belt usage and “Click It or Ticket” traffic campaigns have helped decrease the high numbers of crashes and fatalities Texas sees each year. Doug Shupe, a spokesman for AAA Texas said “drinking and driving, distracted driving, speeding, red-light running, drowsy driving and not wearing seat belts are among the most common factors for traffic fatalities in the state and the nation”. The fatality rate is still too high and too often subject to correctable human behavior.