If you just read that headline and thought, “only fourth?” you’re not alone. Drivers from various states have earned the dubious title of worst in the nation over the years. This one, however, is based on data from a website where drivers nationwide can compare auto insurance rates. Sine drivers are constantly entering information into the website’s database about their driving habits, recent citations, DWI arrests and other risk factors, the website offers an unusually full picture of driver behavior across the U.S.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently announced that the number of fatal traffic accidents rose in the U.S. last year, marking the first increase in traffic fatalities since 2005. The agency also said that most of that 3.3-percent increase was due to an increase in virtually every type of traffic accident except car crashes, including a 4.6-percent jump in fatal drunk-driving accidents.
If you know anyone under about age 25, you’ve probably noticed that they have a hard time putting down their smart phones. This may be responsible for the dramatic increase in distracted driving among young adults.
Of all the factors at play in the car accident rate among teen drivers, parental involvement is by far the most important, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association, or GHSA. For parents who discount such statements as nonsense meant to make them feel good, here’s one statistic that may change your mind: when supportive parents set driving rules and monitor their kids’ behavior, teen drivers are 71 percent less likely to drive drunk.
As you probably remember, in July a woman was riding the Texas Giant roller-coaster at Six Flags in Arlington when she was apparently unable to hold on during one of the coaster’s twists where the riders are upside-down. Tragically, she was ejected from the ride, thrown into support pilings, and fell 75 feet to her death.
Over Labor Day weekend, a malfunctioning underwater light at the Hilton Houston Westchase hotel pool released electricity into the water while the pool was filled with swimmers. Several of those injured were members of a family who had gathered for a peaceful swim during a family get-together. A woman and her two sons, one 10 years old, were among those who suffered serious electrical shock injuries. Tragically, her older son died as a result.
The Houston Chronicle recently recalled the tragic 2011 death of a 4-year-old Kingwood girl in a backup accident. Heartbreakingly, her mom was at the wheel of the SUV that killed her. She had been in the habit of running out of the house at the last minute to greet her parents or to say goodbye, and it was apparently that habit that ended her life.
Starting on Sunday, Sept. 1, a number of new laws meant to reduce and require more assistance after car accidents will go into effect. The Texas legislature just expanded our “Move Over/Slow Down” law to include Department of Transportation vehicles in addition to police, fire and emergency vehicles and tow trucks, which were already covered.
Summer is often viewed as a time for celebration and excitement. However, one Texas summertime tradition suffered an abrupt and tragic end this year. After an end-of-season celebration, five people involved with outdoor musical were killed in an auto accident and a sixth person was severely injured. The individuals were part of the theatrical production -- called "Texas" -- that takes place every year at Palo Duro Canyon State Park.
Over the past two decades, traffic safety experts have succeeded in getting graduated driver’s license (GDL) programs passed in every state. GDL programs are intended to help inexperienced drivers gain needed skills and driving experience by following a three-stage process. The three stages are typically a learner’s permit, a probationary, restricted license, and a full, unrestricted license. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is one group that has worked hard to get GDL laws passed, because their research showed that when states passed these laws, serious and fatal car accidents among 16-year-old drivers dropped by an average of nearly 40 percent.