Texas Still Ranks High For Traffic Fatalities

Although there has been an overall decrease in the number of fatal car accidents nationwide, a comparison of national and Texas state statistics reveal that the pattern has not held true in Texas. There still appears to be a disproportionate number of people seriously injured or killed in car accidents on Texas highways.

Nationwide, traffic related deaths per 100 million miles of travel dropped to 1.11 in 2010 from 1.42 in 2006. This is the formula used by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for reporting highway safety data. This translates into 32,885 fatalities in 2010, down from 42,708 in 2006.

Comparatively, the Texas statistics for the same report show that the state saw 3.028 traffic fatalities for approximately 234 billion miles driven. Using the NHTSA formula, this gives the ratio of 1.29 traffic deaths per 100 million miles of driving for the state of Texas – higher than the national rate.

New car safety features, stricter DWI enforcement and seat belt laws are among the factors that have lowered car crash fatalities. But there is still a lot of room for improvement. Distracted drivers – including texting while driving- coupled with overloaded roads and continued problems with drunk driving still contribute to innumerable car accidents each year. A bill to ban texting while driving was vetoed in 2011 by Governor Rick Perry. More safety measures and increased enforcement will have to be taken in order to reduce fatal traffic accidents.

Source: Statesman.com, “Texas’ traffic fatality rate dips, still above national average.”