If you’re in Texas, especially Houston, chances are you use an automobile to get around. And living in Houston, you are likely aware of the “kill or be killed” attitude on the highway. This is how I described it after my first time visiting Houston as a driver. It blew my mind how reckless and disrespectful people acted in their cars. I had to keep up, which meant going at least 80 mph. If I slowed down a bit, I was likely to get run off the road. Need to merge? Too bad. Turning signals? Forget about it. To be fair, it was one of my first times driving in a big city, but one I will always remember.
Given my driving experience and the countless others in Houston, Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio (plus the Rio Grande Valley, which is the worst of them all), it’s no surprise to see Texas ranked as number 5 in Smart Asset’s second annual study on the states with the worst drivers. The data shows: “Texas googles the term ‘speeding ticket’ at the ninth-highest rate. The fatality rate per 100 million driven miles is also higher than average. There were 1.39 deaths per 100 million miles driven in Texas in 2016.” Other data includes arrests from DUIs and the percentage of uninsured drivers.
People are crazy out there, so it pays to be vigilant. Keep yourself free of distractions, like texting or eating while you drive (It is now illegal in Texas to text while driving). If you use a GPS or need to talk on the phone, make sure to be hands-free. Also, keep your insurance and driver’s license up to date. If you do get in an accident, even if it isn’t your fault, you can get into trouble for lacking these documents.
It is important to remember the proper steps to take if you are involved in an accident. You will likely be jarred or shocked, but doing the following can help you immensely down the road. Gather information (pictures, eyewitness accounts, the other person’s name and insurance info). Contact the police (do not admit fault). Contact your insurance company (and the other person’s insurance company if it was their fault). Contact Reich and Binstock (800-622-7271) to help facilitate a smooth interaction with the insurance companies, explain your rights and entitlements to you in a clear manner, represent you in court, and help you obtain financial compensation for your injury or property damage.