One thing that every driver should know is that there's no way to control or predict the actions of other drivers. For that reason, defensive driving is crucial. Even if someone is a safe and defensive driver, however, he can still end up in a car accident. This is one reason that the state of Texas requires all drivers to be able to show that they can handle their financial obligations in the event of an accident. Like many states, Texas has strict laws regarding auto insurance, and most drivers take care to maintain valid coverage.
Simply purchasing a car insurance policy that satisfies Texas's requirements for car insurance often isn't enough. Many people opt to buy more extensive coverage. Those who don't often find themselves in hot water. For instance, if a policy's limits are too low, a driver could still end up owing considerable amounts of money. A great way to drive home the importance of having adequate coverage is by considering driving statistics for the Lone Star State. After learning precisely how many people share the road in Texas, most people decide to buy policies with higher limits.
Who Drives in Texas?
The state of Texas is massive. In fact, it is ranked second in area. It also has a large population. According to theU.S. Census Bureau, the estimated population of the Lone Star State in 2012 was 26,059,203. Naturally, not all of those people drive. Driving statistics for the U.S. are maintained by the Federal Highway Administration, which reports that Texas had 15,122,518 licensed drivers in November 2012. That means that 58 percent of all residents are legally able to drive, and it's safe to assume that most of them do.
According to the FHA, 7,490,331 people, or 49.53 percent of all drivers, were men. 7,632,187 people, or 50.47 percent of all drivers, were women. These numbers are interesting, but it should be noted that insurance carriers don't take gender into consideration when calculating auto insurance premiums. There's no proof out there that gender is a predictor of safety behind the wheel, so it would be unfair to adjust people's rates accordingly.
Gender may not be a factor that's considered, but age is. Younger drivers, who have a lot less experience, are more likely to be involved in accidents. Therefore, their premiums are typically higher. In Texas in November 2012, there were 308,303 people aged 19 and below with driver's licenses, so they accounted for 2 percent of all licensed drivers. The largest group, which was made up of people between the ages of 50 and 54, totaled 740,538, which means that 4.9 percent of all drivers in Texas are in that age range. Those drivers generally enjoy much lower rates than their younger, less experienced counterparts.
Auto Insurance Requirements in Texas
While the majority of drivers in Texas fulfill the state's financial responsibility requirements by purchasing liability insurance, there are a few other options. Drivers can deposit $55,000 in securities or cash with their county comptroller, file surety bonds with their county clerk or deposit $55,000 in cashier's checks or cash with their county judge. Dealers with 25 or more registered vehicles can opt for self-insurance.
Those who do purchase liability car insurance should make sure that it meets the state's minimum requirements. All insurance policies should include:
- At least $30,000 in bodily injury coverage for one person
- At least $60,000 in bodily injury coverage for two or more people
- At least $25,000 in property damage coverage
The state uses the TexasSure system to verify that drivers maintain valid car insurance. There are serious consequences for driving without valid coverage in the Lone Star State. A driver's registration and driver's license may be suspended. Second offenses result in the impounding of a driver's car for 180 days, and a fee of $15 per day is charged. Drivers must pay reinstatement fees to the tune of $175 to $350 to get their driving privileges back, and they also need to show proof of coverage.