How Texas Drivers Rank in New Report (Brace Yourself)

by Terry Bryant

Ask anyone who drives if they are a safe driver and most will claim to be a good one. But the law of averages and actual statistics paint a very different picture. Some states have particularly bad drivers. The insurance industry publication CarInsurancecomparison.com has some interesting things to say about Texas drivers. We placed fourth on their 2017 “bad driver list.” The higher the ranking, the worse things are.

The categories used to come up with this ranking were: fatality-rate per 100 million miles traveled, failure to obey basic laws (traffic signals, seat belts, invalid driver’s license, drunk driving, speeding) and careless driving. The data was compiled from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) figures.

Texas has ranked as a top-five state with the worst drivers since the first study was conducted in 2012. The only good news was that we dropped from last year’s survey. But for the past four consecutive years, the behavior that has killed the most people is drunk driving, and this year is no different. A total of 1,552 fatal crashes with an alcohol-impaired driver to blame was good for fifth place in that category. Our best (safest) ranking was 20th in the speeding category.

Nevertheless, it’s an improvement over the previous year. CarInsurancecomparison.com said the Lone Star state had the worst drivers in the country in their 2016 report, which revealed that 3,558 died on Texas roads, highest in the U.S. Actually, that year Texans tied with Louisianans for the worst.

In the 2016 report, Texas was the only state to rank among the 14 worst in each of the study’s measured categories. Our 2016 results:

  • 9th in fatalities per 100 million drivers
  • 12th in failure to obey traffic laws
  • 3rd in drunk driving
  • 9th in speeding
  • 14th in careless driving

That year, Texas drivers scored a 47, the highest score translating into the worst ranking. Texas and Louisiana’s ascension to the co-top spot knocked Montana out of the 2015 No. 1 ranking.

But Texas has it all over Oklahoma in one particular category. Another publication which surveys the safe driving scene – Smart Asset – reveals that only 74% of drivers north of the Red River are insured. This means that when there’s a car accident, odds are much higher someone will be paying out of pocket – if at all.

Smart Asset’s research also reveals that Republican-leaning states have better drivers. They took state electoral results from the 2016 presidential election and compared it to their data, and, overall, Red states generally have better drivers than Blue states by a 7% margin.

One other obscure fact about Texas drivers uncovered by Smart Asset begs to be mentioned: According to Google Trends data, residents in only six states searched for “speeding tickets” or “traffic tickets” more often than Texans did in 2016.

If you or a family member were injured by a negligent, reckless, or drunk driver, the attorneys at Terry Bryant Accident Lawyers can help. Call us at (713) 973-8888 or toll-free (800) 444-5000 or send us a note using our contact form.