Lubbock on list of deadliest drivers nationwide - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Lubbock on list of deadliest drivers nationwide

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Hub City roads are called some of the most dangerous in the country according to a national review of accidents by CNBC. The numbers are from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Lubbock is ranked 10th on the list of most dangerous cities to drive in. The number is based on the number of deadly accidents and the city's population. Cities needed at least 150,000 people to qualify.

Lubbock police say excessive speed is one of the biggest factors in fatal accidents. With roadways like the Marsha Sharp Freeway and loop 289, drivers have more opportunities to go fast.

Being the only Texas city on the nationwide list was a little surprising to Lubbock police accident investigator Sergeant John Hayes. It may be that surprise that contributes to a problem.

"You always hear people talking about the small town feel that Lubbock has and I think that lulls people into a false sense of security," Hayes said.

With nearly 250,000 people Lubbock is home to drivers young and old. It's what Hayes calls a ‘diverse driving population.'

Hayes adds that drinking and driving is probably the other biggest factor in deadly accidents.

At the Drive Trainer's campus, licensed driver hopefuls are learning the basics. Owner Cindi Garrett says the lessons learned in training cars should serve as reminders for all drivers.

"The most important thing they can do is keep their eyes moving, make sure they get the big picture 360 degrees around them," Garrett said.

Based on statistical trends over the past few years, Lubbock tends to see more fatalities after August. Hayes said it could be because of the return of students to area universities.

"Every fall and spring we have an influx of 20,000-30,000 college students coming in," Hayes continued. "And with more families coming in we have younger kids that are brand new drivers coming in."

That's why Garrett stresses the importance of teaching driving lessons early. She says defensive driving is one of the most important strategies for safety.

"Identify, predict, decide what you're going to do about it, then execute it because you have two seconds to do it," Garrett said.

LPD statistics do suggest fatal accidents were declining. In 2010 there were 29 fatal accidents, and so far this year in 2011, there have been 12.

They are numbers Hayes and Garrett would like to see come down even more.

"We're in such a big rush to get somewhere," Hayes continued. "Just leave 5 minutes early and make it there."

"Let's make sure our loop, our interstate, our Marsha Sharp Freeways are safe places to be; it's our town," Garrett said.

RELATED: Cities With High Driving Fatality Rates

Copyright 2011.  KCBD NewsChannel 11.

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