Lone Star State: high speed limits, wild hogs and passenger anxiety
The first fatal crash on Texas State Highway 130 -- which has the nation's highest speed limit at 85 mph -- was reported recently, according to KXAN.com.
While police aren't sure speed was a factor in the accident on the 41-mile toll road that opened Oct. 24, they are certain that feral packs of pigs were not.
"Police are still investigating the cause of the accident and did not say how fast the cars were traveling. But they did confirm that wild hogs were not a factor in the crash. Four accidents involved wild hogs the first night the toll road opened," says the report.
One of the hog collisions resulted in a totaled car, prompting local police to compare the incident with striking a deer. (See: "Doe! Deer-collisions and repair costs on the rise.")
Passenger Anxiety Survey
In other news, Allstate is urging tongue-tied Texans to speak up when a driver is being unsafe, as passengers make up about 30 percent of all fatalities and serious injuries in car accidents on Texas roads, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.
According to the Allstate Passenger Anxiety Survey, spouses are the most outspoken passengers on Texas roads when it comes to safety. Ninety percent of respondents say they would most likely speak up if their spouse's driving was making them nervous. Passengers were least likely to say something to their boss, a stranger or their parent if their driving made them uneasy.
Passenger Anxiety Survey key findings:
- More than a third, 35 percent, say a driver being distracted—texting, talking on cellphones, eating—made them the most concerned, followed by speeding, 27 percent, and reckless driving, 25 percent.
- Forty-three percent of respondents say they've been a passenger in a car that was pulled over by police. (See: "Ticket? Uh-oh! Auto insurance increases for common violations.")
- More than a third, 35 percent, say they've never actually spoken up when they felt unsafe, regardless of whom the driver was.
Des Toups is a writer, editor and expert on insurance, cars and personal finance. He has written extensively about all three for national publications such as MSN and major newspapers such as the Seattle Times. He has been quoted about insurance issues in The New York Times, USA Today and Kiplinger's. Follow him on Twitter @destoups.