Is Downtown Austin Dangerous? (Let’s See)

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Visiting Austin is an incredibly exciting experience. There’s so much to see and try, from art exhibits to fancy restaurants. However, before you head out on the trip, you should ask a few questions, such as, “Is downtown Austin dangerous?”

Generally speaking, downtown Austin is safe. The crime rate is lower than the national average, but some violent crimes still occur. So, staying vigilant and prepared during your visit to this attractive Texan town is essential.

A night shot of downtown Austin Texas. - Texas View

Is Downtown Austin Safe?

The average safety index in Austin Texas is around 61.87, which means the crime rate is about 38.13. This is slightly lower than the national safety index average of 51.5. So, statistically, Austin is safe, but violent crimes happen occasionally.

For comparison, here are the average crime rate in other metropolitan cities:

CityAverage Crime RateSafety Index
Austin, TX38.1361.87
Brooklyn, NY43.3756.63
San Diego, CA39.0361.68
Pittsburgh, PA37.5562.45
Salt Lake City, UT32.6567.35
Crime rates of Austin compared to other USA cities
AUSTIN TEXAS SXSW South by Southwest Annual music film and interactive conference and festival. Downtown Austin 6th street intersection - Texas View

What Is the Crime Rate in Downtown Austin?

Figuring out the exact crime rate in Downtown Austin is a little tricky. So, to make this process a bit easier, let’s take a look at all the different crime types in the city.

1. Pickpocketing

Sadly, one downside to living in a metropolitan city is that pickpocketing is common. The same is true for most areas in Austin, including the downtown area.

Every year, there are hundreds of reported cases of purse and wallet snatches. This may seem like a large number, but when you put that number in perspective, it’s pretty average.

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Austin has a population of around a million. So, a few hundred missing wallets aren’t a significant cause for concern.

Although, it’s still a good idea to be cautious while walking around the city. One way to do that is to always keep your purse close, even when lounging in a restaurant or club.

Downtown Skyline of Austin Texas in USA - Texas View
Downtown Skyline of Austin, Texas in USA

2. Robberies

This Texan town also has its fair share of robberies throughout the year. Most of the time, these muggings take place on private properties. That means an assailant will break into a residence and clear it out while the owners are away.

However, about 25% of robberies each year happen in public. There are a few cases of attackers holding people hostage with a deadly weapon in the middle of the street. The silver lining is that no physical harm comes to the victims.

Usually, these attacks will happen at night, which means it’s safe during the daytime. Still, when in Austin, especially downtown, you have to be on the lookout. It’s also best to travel in groups.

Riverside view of downtown skyline of Austin Texas in USA - Texas View
Downtown Skyline of Austin, Texas in USA

3. Scams

While in downtown Austin, the chances of being a victim of a scam are slim to none. It’s incredibly rare for a drifter to pull a con in the middle of a busy area.

Instead, most scammers will focus on online swindles. For that reason, you don’t have to worry about hustlers while strolling through the streets. To be extra cautious, try to avoid street vendors, and stick to certified shops instead.

Austin Street View - Texas View

4. Transportation Accidents

Austin has an excellent public transportation system that spans the entire city. Luckily, it’s safe to use for citizens and tourists alike. Besides that, car services like Uber and Lyft have vehicles running through the city all day long.

For the most part, the streets in Austin are low-risk. Other than the constant traffic jams, drivers tend to stick to road laws.

Austin city downtown skyline cityscape of Texas USA at sunset - Texas View
Austin city downtown skyline cityscape of Texas USA at sunset

5. Crimes Against Women

Generally, when women travel alone, the chances of being a victim of crimes increases. Unfortunately, this is also true in Austin.

Most of the city’s residents are young people with few responsibilities. This leaves plenty of time for people to roam the streets and cause trouble. In addition, downtown Austin is a drinking hub, with many bars in the area.

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That’s likely why sexual assault rates are about 20% higher in Austin than the national average. This includes everything from catcalling to more violent cases of rapes and beatings.

So, as a woman traveling in the city alone, you have to be on high alert. Make sure to avoid any dark streets past sundown. Also, never accept a drink from a stranger unless you watch them prepare it.

Other than that, you should have some form of protection on you at all times. Some examples include:

  • Mace
  • Taser
  • Safety horn
Austin Texas bats flying by the Congress Street Bridge - Texas View

6. Natural Disasters

Across Austin’s history, there have been quite a few natural disasters, such as:

  • Twin tornadoes, 1922
  • Drought, 1956
  • Memorial Day flood, 1981
  • Hail storm, 2008
  • Memorial Day flood, 2015

While these were tragic events, they’re not common. As you can tell, there’s usually a large gap between each disaster and the next.

That means you’re not likely to experience one during your trip. In addition, the citizens of Austin get plenty of warnings before a disaster hits, which will allow you to better plan your trip to avoid any upcoming catastrophe.

However, it’s always better to travel prepared. So, if you’re visiting Austin in the winter, make sure to pack an emergency safety kit.

Night falls as the stars come out in Austin Texas. - Texas View

7. Terrorism Attacks

Over the years, Texas has seen a few terrorist attacks. Fortunately, most of these have been far away from Austin.

Downtown Austin Dangers FAQs

Is It Safe to Walk Through Downtown Austin Alone?

For the most part, Austin is a safe city. So, it’s completely safe to wander the streets of downtown Austin on your own while the sun is up. However, as soon as it sets, things can get a little dangerous. Simply put, the chances of running into a harasser or pickpocket increase.

Is It Safe to Drive My Car Through Downtown Austin?

Typically, driving a car in downtown Austin should be perfectly safe. Although, you have to be careful where you park. While tourists rarely get attacked in cars, criminals can break into a parked vehicle and empty it.

Emergency Disaster Kit | Disasters
Prepare an Emergency Disaster Kit

References:

Author Profile

Christian Linden is a seasoned writer and contributor at Texas View, specializing in topics that resonate with the Texan community. With over a decade of experience in journalism, Christian brings a wealth of knowledge in local politics, culture, and lifestyle. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Texas. When he's not writing, Christian enjoys spending weekends traveling across Texas with his family, exploring everything from bustling cities to serene landscapes.

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