Survey: Texas Drivers Feeling Less Safe on the Roads

Texans feel less safe on the roads than they did five years ago. That's according to a study released by the Texas Transportation Institute. Researchers asked drivers how they feel about traffic safety, and as Wendy Siegle reports, most say too much technology behind the wheel is getting in the way of safety.
Despite the falling rate of traffic fatalities across the state, more than a third of Texans who participated in the TTI survey say they don’t feel any safer. Just twenty percent of respondents reported feeling more safe then they did five years ago. Quinn Brackett is a senior research scientist with TTI. He says more than half of the people surveyed believe aggressive driving is on the rise. But even more — over eighty percent — say talking or texting on cell phones is worse than it was five years ago.

“People feel that that has gotten worse over the course of time and that it interferes with safety while driving.”

The participants’ concern with cell phone use is reflected in their answers to another question: Are you in favor of or opposed to a law against any type of cell phone use while driving? Supporters of a ban outnumbered opponents by a margin of two to one. Texas of course has no state-wide ban. But lawmakers are expected to file several bills seeking to prohibit or limit cell phone use while driving when the 2011 Texas Legislative session starts in January.

The bans is just one of many initiatives the majority of participants say they would back.

“What they would like to see, apparently, sobriety check points, DWI or alcohol use interlocks for people who have been convicted of driving while intoxicated. They are in favor of red-light cameras.”

That last one, red light cameras, is still a hot button issue here in Houston.

Almost 1200 licensed drivers participated in the survey, which was conducted in ten Texas cities, including Houston. To view the rest of study’s findings, visit www.scribd.com/TTI-Safety-Culture/d/44503707.


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