Traffic fatalities in the state of Texas have decreased about 15 percent in the past five years, but they are still higher than the national average.

According to a Texas State Audit issued by the Texas Department of Transportation recently, the state had 3,028 traffic deaths following 234 billion miles of driving. That is equal to about 1.23 deaths per 100 million miles driven, the formulation used by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for determining how safe a road is to drive on.

The death rate in 2006 was 1.5 per every 100 million miles driven in Texas and has fallen consistently every year since then.
In 2006, by comparison, the death rate was 1.5 deaths per 100 million miles traveled in Texas. The rate fell every year between 2006 and 2010. Meanwhile the nation rate, during that same period, fell to a low of 1.11 in 2010 (the last year with available figures. That is a decline of almost 22 percent, far greater than has been seen in Texas during the same time period.

As drivers and the vehicles they operate become safer, the expectation is that traffic fatalities will decline. While there are signs that is what is happening, situations such as the higher traffic fatality rate on Texas roads versus the national average have some public safety officials wondering if enough is being done to not only stem the tide of roadway deaths, but educate drivers about just how much their driving matters.

The My Improv Online Traffic School focuses on defensive driving and reminds drivers that safety matters most when it comes to how they drive. Even a short trip to the grocery store can suddenly turn deadly if a driver loses focus on what their priorities are behind the wheel.

It seems likely that in light of this recent audit by the Texas Department of Transportation that police will step up their efforts to remind drivers “safety first” possibly through the use of increased patrols and most definitely through the use of deterrents to bad driving behavior such as traffic citations.