Texas has been ranked near the bottom in a report that graded all 50 states for their implementation of highway safety laws. The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety released the report which graded states based on their adoption of 15 basic traffic safety laws. The state’s low ranking stems from the fact that state lawmakers have been slow to pass some of the laws the safety group views as essential to improve road safety and reduce fatalities.
The report comes on the heels of data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration which shows that auto accident deaths increased by 7.1% in 2012 as compared to 2011. This is the largest increase since 1975.
Included among the 15 laws the group based its report on are seat belt and booster seat requirements, motorcycle helmet rules, and restrictions on teen drivers, texting and other forms of impaired driving. A majority of states have passed laws banning texting while driving, however Texas is not one of them. Governor Rick Perry vetoed a texting while driving ban in 2011, a move which drew large amounts of criticism from highway safety groups.
Even though Texas may not have enacted certain laws, motorists still have the duty to drive responsibly. A driver can be liable for their negligence if their inattentive or reckless driving leads to an accident with another. If you have been injured due another driver’s negligence you have the right to recover for your injuries and damages even though the other driver’s actions leading to the accident have not been made illegal by the state.