Y'all Drive Safe

New study says Texas is easier on dangerous drivers than anywhere else

New study says Texas is easier on dangerous drivers than anywhere else

Highway traffic
Texas is the least strict state on speeding and reckless driving. Photo courtesy of Texas A&M Transportation Institute

When it comes to speeding and reckless driving, the Lone Star State is the most lenient place in America: We rank dead last on a new list from WalletHub

The website compared driving laws in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. to determine "which states take the hardest line on dangerous driving behavior." The study, which includes detailed findings regarding speeding and reckless driving, brings to light surprising facts about just how lenient Texas is.

For example, WalletHub notes that "reckless drivers should expect, on average, to spend at least one day in jail for their first offense and four days for their second offense." Eleven states enforce jail time on a first offense, 14 on the second. However, there is no minimum jail time for reckless driving in Texas. Instead, the Lone Star State enforces a minimum fine of $200 for first and second offenders. 

Texas is also rather lenient when it comes to speeding. In more than half of states, speeding is automatically considered reckless driving at a certain threshold, but not in Texas. In addition, 75 percent of states have "absolute" speed limits, which means exceeding the speed limit is enough evidence for conviction. But in Texas, you're free to argue in court that your speed was reasonable. 

Because of its lenient policies, Texas scored only 2.5 points on WalletHub's analysis. Colorado, the strictest, scored 18. Other top enforcers are Arizona, Delaware and Illinois, which tied at No. 2. Check out the findings here