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Austin dashcam company viral video sparks debate concerning driver safety

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Austin dashcam company viral video sparks debate concerning driver safety

Many people believe that Austin is home to some of the worst drivers in Texas.

Many people believe that Austin is home to some of the worst drivers in Texas.

Courtesy of Creative Commons

Many people believe that Austin is home to some of the worst drivers in Texas.

Courtesy of Creative Commons

Courtesy of Creative Commons

Many people believe that Austin is home to some of the worst drivers in Texas.

Reilly Cardillo, Staff Writer

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On November 15, a local Austin dashcam store released a compilation video on their YouTube channel that featured some of the worst driving incidents caught on tape in the city of Austin.

The video (which is actually the second volume in a series) has caught the attention of the internet, prompting some commenters to claim that Austin has the worst drivers.

One YouTube commenter under the username MJT wrote: “Idiots everywhere, but Austin is especially bad.”

Indeed, many Austin transplants from elsewhere in Texas agree.

“That video made me anxious because I see that [stuff] three times a day going from school back to the east side. Austin by far has the worst drivers,” Houston native and St. Edward’s senior Olivia Vong said.

According to data from TXdot, the Texas Department of Transportation, every big city in Texas garners thousands of accidents each year.

In 2017, Austin totaled 15,319 total crashes, with 78 resulting in fatalities. In the same year, Houston, Dallas and San Antonio suffered 65,234, 32,056 and 43,951 total crashes respectively.

However, given the population disparities, this data does not tell the full story.

When taking into account each city’s 2017 population reports, the allegations of Austin’s terrible driving record does not exactly hold true.

According to state censuses, the populations were as follows: Austin at 931,820, Houston at 2,296,224, Dallas at 1,317,929 and San Antonio at 1,469,845.

After calculating the percentage of drivers involved in crashes within these large pools, the three larger cities proved to demonstrate a higher likelihood of crashes.

Austin showed that 1.64% of the population were involved in crashes, Dallas at 2.43%, Houston at 2.84% and San Antonio at 2.99%.

There is good reason for higher accident rates within large cities. TXdot found there is a much higher rate for accidents on highways with four or more undivided lanes (366.97 per 100 million vehicle miles) than on a two lane road (260.78 per 100 million vehicle miles). So just by merit of design and population, larger cities are more likely to be host to greater rates of traffic accidents.

Still, the Austin dash-cam video offers solace to those who rage against Austin drivers.

“Austin is worse. Much worse,” said St. Edward’s senior Jack Leon of the traffic scene in his hometown of San Antonio. Leon moved to Austin in 2015, and says that he’s never seen San Antonio drivers act like the drivers in that video.

“People in Houston are more aggressive but in Austin, the drivers are either too hesitant or too aggressive and you never know what you’re going to get. The roads in Houston are also bigger and it’s more spread out than Austin,” Vong said.

About the Writer
Reilly Cardillo, Reporter








I am Reilly Cardillo— Writing and Rhetoric major with a concentration in Journalism, staff writer for Hilltop Views. This is my senior...

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Austin dashcam company viral video sparks debate concerning driver safety