Are Texas Drivers Bad?

Many people want to know what all the hype is about Texas drivers. You’ve probably heard something about reckless rednecks once or twice. But are Texas drivers truly all that bad? 

Statistics show that, yes, they frequently are dangerous drivers. In 2020, Texas had the leading number of fatal crashes. Some say that Texas drivers are terrible because of the high number of accidents in the state each year. Others argue that the drivers in Texas are more aggressive and prone to road rage.

In any group, not everyone will be all bad or all good. The same holds true here– not everyone in Texas is a bad driver. 

However, if you are driving around Texas, whether as a resident or as a guest, you should take extra care to stay alert.

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What Driving Statistics Make Texas Drivers Bad?

According to the TDI Safety at Work Division of Workers Compensation, Texas drivers don’t shy away from driving in inclement weather. Inclement weather includes:

  • Hurricanes
  • Electrical Storms
  • Fog
  • Ice and Sleet
  • Flooding

In fact, these weather conditions are factors in 60,000 crashes each year in Texas. That’s an average of 164 motor vehicle accidents each day. Rain and flooding, mainly, are a factor in more than 84 percent of crashes in Texas.

These accidents are due to hydroplaning, decreased visibility, and quick-rising water levels that create dangerous driving conditions.

Speeding

Speeding is another issue that Texas drivers are known for. A study conducted by the Austin Transportation Department showed that speeding was the main contributing factor in car crashes in Austin, Texas, from 2013 to 2017.

Unfortunately, that makes speeding the number one of four behaviors that causes the most crashes in Texas.

Failure To Yield, Distraction, and Intoxication

The other top three behaviors that cause the most crashes in Texas are failure to yield, distraction, and intoxication. The failure to yield is when a driver doesn’t permit the right-of-way to another driver, pedestrian, or bicyclist. It can lead to severe accidents, especially at intersections.

Distracted driving is a significant problem in Texas. Many accidents have happened in the state due to distracted driving. Distracted driving includes applying makeup, texting, and even eating.

Intoxicated driving is also a major problem in Texas. Over a span of nine years, over 13,000 people were killed in accidents involving a drunk drivers. That’s an average of nearly 1,500 per year.

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On average, these stats found that the intoxicated individual is male in most cases and between the ages of 21 and 34.

Texas Crash Facts

Over the years, the number of car accident-related deaths in Texas has increased. For example, in 2003, the number of deaths was 3,822.

From 2004 to 2020, the number ranged from 3,060 at its lowest up to 3,896, being the highest. In 2021, that number jumped to 4,489.

YearNumber of Serious Injury CrashesNumber of People Who Sustained A Serious Injury In A Crash
201714,31417,571
201912,90915,857
202115,76419,448
Texas Crash Facts – Number of injuries

Let’s look at some factors that contributed to these accidents.

Seatbelts

Seatbelts are a major factor in saving lives in car accidents. In Texas, the seatbelt usage rate ranges between 60 and 70 percent. In fact, in 2021, not wearing a seatbelt was a factor in 46 percent of fatal crashes.

A stat like this one is startling, especially when you compare it to the national seatbelt usage rate. Several fatalities were likely preventable if only a seatbelt had been worn.

Motorcycle Helmets

In 2021, 521 motorcyclists were killed because they didn’t wear a helmet. Just because you’re a seasoned rider doesn’t mean you’re not required to wear a helmet in Texas. In fact, all riders have to wear a helmet as a requirement of Texas law.

Cell Phone Usage

Using a cell phone while driving is against the law in Texas. However, that doesn’t stop people from doing it. Texas has laws in place that make it illegal to use a handheld device for reading, writing, or sending any electronic messages while driving.

The one exception to this rule is if you’re using your phone for GPS purposes.

Preventing Accidents in Texas

Driving in Texas can be dangerous. But don’t let that prevent you from driving in or visiting the state. There are a few things that you can do to avoid accidents in Texas.

  • Wear your seatbelt.
  • Follow the speed limit.
  • Don’t drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Pay attention to the road.
  • Don’t use your cell phone while driving.

Avoid Distracted Driving

Distracted driving increases your chances of being in an accident. Remain alert and aware by removing anything that takes your attention away from the road. Talking on the phone, eating, drinking, changing the radio station, and anything else that takes your hands off the wheel or your eyes off the road count as distractions. 

Hold Reckless Drivers Accountable

If you see a driver behaving recklessly, report it to the police. It helps to make the roads safer for everyone. It could also prevent an accident, which will keep you, the driver, and other innocent bystanders safe.

Be a Defensive Driver

Defensive driving is when you drive in a way that protects you from other drivers who may not be driving safely. It means being aware of your surroundings and preparing for anything.

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Texas Drivers FAQ

Still need more information? Below are some additional questions and answers about Texas drivers.

Are Texas drivers really that bad?

Unfortunately, statistics show that Texas drivers are some of the worst in the country. Distracted driving, drunk driving, and speeding are all contributors.

What can I do to avoid accidents in Texas?

There are a few things that you can do to avoid accidents in Texas. First, always wear your seatbelt and follow the speed limit. Don’t drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Pay attention to the road, and put your cell phone away while you drive. These things will help you avoid distracted driving and keep everyone safe.

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