- Photo by Ed Schipul/Flickr
In the list of the safest states in America, Texas came in at #47. We were accompanied by our southern neighbors, with Oklahoma, Louisiana and Mississippi taking gold, silver and bronze – had it been a list of the most unsafe states. Even Florida, land of wild gators and utterly bizarre news stories, beat us out at #46.
What does this mean?
Safety was monitored across 48 key indicators grouped into five categories: personal & residential safety, financial safety, road safety, workplace safety, and emergency preparedness.
According to the study, our problems are largely concentrated in three of the five categories. We ranked #43 in both personal safety and road safety, which considers mass shootings and other violent crimes as well as accident-related deaths, DUIs, and road quality respectively. We also ranked #48 in disaster preparedness, which might be considered in light of 2017’s unexpected deadly hurricane season.
Still, while Texas will always be number one in tacos, specific action can be done to improve these numbers. Faulting failing infrastructure, experts delegate a great deal of onus on local government officials and community leaders.
Donald Jones, Professor at Law at the University of Miami, credits forces of globalization, deindustrialization, aggressive policing, and neglect as causes of rampant joblessness, poverty and correlating criminal offenses in regions where safety concerns are the worst.
"In a real sense, the inner city...is another America in which violence and crime go hand in hand with urban decay," Jones said.
The problem of struggling urban areas is an immediate one, with San Antonio amongst the most economically segregated cities in the nation.
For safer and more thriving communities, experts encourage local officials and institutions working in tandem to develop infrastructure that benefits these areas.
If you are alarmed by Texas' latest girl scout badge, you can always vote in local elections for candidates who prioritize building internal opportunities and education. These efforts are things all Texans can benefit from. And yeah, with their implementation we just might pass Florida.
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