Lone Star Hog Settles the Debate.
As we’ve grown from a small t-shirt reseller to the preeminent Texan expat brand, we’ve frequently served as fact checker and peace keeper of the Texan/Razorback union. We’ve ruled strongly in favor of the Texan position on cheese dip (It’s not a thing, and the term should be erased from the world), High School Football (All respect to Arkansas, but there’s really no comparison to Texas), and the merits of Tex Mex over authentic Mexican food.
We also drew the ire of many of our kin by stating on the record that Slim’s is superior to all Texan tender restaurants, and that Arkansas scenery is objectively prettier than Texas.
Hopefully that lends us an air of impartiality as we weigh in on one of the most contentious topics in the Arkansas/Texan relationship.
Who has the worst drivers: Arkansas or Texas?
Notice we said “Worst.” The only acceptable conclusion for either side is that the other is the absolute worst driving cohort in these United States. The Texan vs. Arkansan bloodsport of driving debates almost always begins with some variation of “EXPLETIVE (Insert opposing state) drivers suck.”
To sum up the two sides:
Arkansans view Texan drivers as reckless maniacs with no regard for traffic laws, or the sanctity of life.
Texans view Arkansan drivers as indecisive turtles who couldn’t navigate their own neighborhood without GPS.
We need to start by acknowledging that when it comes to speed, Texas and Arkansas are almost polar opposites. According to DOT data analyzed by cars.com, Texas has the highest average speed limits, and fastest average car speed in the nation. Arkansas is 44th fastest.
Additionally, there are more cars in the DFW area alone than there are in the entire state of Arkansas.
Texans come from a culture of extreme speed, and constant congestion. In Texas, the best defensive driving is being an aware and aggressive driver. Indecisiveness during rush hour is what gets you driven off the road.
Texans bring the driving style they grew up with to the much slower paced and less congested roads of Arkansas, and come off like a New Yorker at a Deep South brunch.
"You make everyone uncomfortable, Cindy"
By that same token, when Arkansans visit Houston or DFW- they’re easily overwhelmed by the obscene maze that is the Texas Highway System. Compared to the two lane highways through gorgeous fall foliage they’re used to, Texas seems like a concrete hellscape. It’s hard to blame them for hating us.
But that’s not the question we’re here to answer. While we understand why Arkansans dislike Texan drivers, the data leans towards trusting someone from the Lone Star state more, if you had to give up your keys. While Texans get poor marks for following posted traffic rules and signaling, Arkansas has the 3rd-6th worst fatality rate in the nation, depending on the year.
Texans may seem reckless by some standards, but they’ve evolved well to handle the speed and pace.
Fewer fatalities per capita+driving much faster+infinitely more complex roads= Texans being better drivers.
There’s a silver lining here for your NWA based friends though! It’s rural Arkansas that is weighing their average down so heavily. Drivers from Northwest Arkansas and Little Rock, per capita; have fewer fatalities, hit fewer pedestrians, and wear helmets more frequently than the average Texan city driver.
The Bottom Line:
- Texans are undeniably more skilled drivers, and Arkansas needs to get a grip on its fatality rate.
- It wouldn't kill us to take a breather and ease up on the gas a little.
- Oklahoma is still the worst.