The Texas Department of Transportation reported that the traffic accident fatality rate dropped across the state again in 2010 – but that Texas is still one of the more dangerous places to drive, even with recent safety improvements.
According to the Austin Statesman, the rate of fatal car accidents in Texas fell 15 percent between 2006 and 2010. Of over 234 billion miles of driving done in the state over the year, there were 3,028 traffic accident deaths in 2010, equaling a rate of 1.29 deaths per 100 million miles driven. The rate of traffic deaths in Texas six years ago was 1.5 deaths per 100 million miles.
Texas officials said that the drop in traffic accident deaths was due to awareness and education regarding drinking and driving, red light cameras, sobriety checkpoints, and the Click It Or Ticket seatbelt program. Seat belt use has risen significantly in Texas, with 94 percent of drivers buckling up behind the wheel.
While this is good news, TxDOT officials pointed out that Texas was the 16th most deadly state for traffic accidents in the country and that the state had a long way to go when it came to traffic safety and car accident prevention.
Traffic safety advocates say that Texas can further improve its traffic accident fatality rate by focusing on drinking and driving, fatigued driving, speeding, red light running, and distracted driving. However, in 2011, Texas Governor Rick Perry vetoed a bill that would ban text messaging for drivers across the state.
Nationwide, the rate of traffic fatalities was 1.11 per 100 million driving miles in 2010, down from 1.42 per 100 million driving miles in 2006. There were 32,885 fatalities in 2010, compared with 42,708 fatalities in 2006.