Although Still A Concern In Texas Report Shows National Traffic Deaths DecreasingAugust 26, 2012
According to a recent article featured by StateImpact, the Texas Department of Transportation has reported a decrease in traffic deaths of almost 15 percent since 2006. Reportedly, these numbers correlate with the national trend. According to StateImpact, 2010 was the most recent year considered in the report in which Texas saw 3,028 traffic deaths from around 234 billion miles of driving. According to the National Highway Safety and Traffic Administration, that equates to about 1.29 deaths per 100 million miles of driving. By comparison, the death rate in 2006 was 1.5 deaths per 100 million miles traveled on Texas roads. The Texas Department of Transportation report shows that the rate fell every year between 2006 and 2010.
According to StateImpact, Texas is still, comparatively, one of the more dangerous places to drive in the United States as a whole. According to Traffic safety Administration statistics, national fatalities per 100 million miles fell from 1.42 in 2006 to 1.11 in 2010. There were 32,885 fatalities nationwide in 2010, down from 42,708 in 2006. Sources say the declining fatality rates is a long standing phenomenon which correlates with improvements in care safety such as air bags, increasing public awareness about driving under the influence and stricter enforcement of traffic laws.
Texas Department of Transportation officials said that seat belt usage, with the encouragement of annual "Click It or Ticket" campaigns by the state, has increased dramatically in Texas, to almost 94 percent in 2011. The department says that figure was at 74 percent a decade earlier.
Reportedly, in 1994, there were 40,716 road deaths in the U.S., and the national vehicle fatality average was 1.73 deaths per 100 million miles driven. Reportedly, even though the number of registered vehicles has increased by about 33 percent and the number of licensed drivers has risen about 20 percent, the death to miles ratio has either remained stagnant or dropped every year from 1994-2009.
Reportedly, Texas is 16th most dangerous state for drivers. The most dangerous state, with 2.01 deaths per 100 million miles, was Montana. The safest state, by this measure, was Massachusetts, with 0.61 deaths per 100 million miles of travel. In explaining Texas' comparatively higher vehicle fatality rate, TxDOT officials pointed to stricter laws in other states related to distracted driving. StateImpact points out that Gov. Rick Perry last year vetoed a bill that would have banned texting while driving.
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