Texas : Safety by City
- Corpus Christi
- El Paso
- Fort Worth
- San Antonio
Grab your cowboy boots, and let’s head to Lubbock in West Texas’s high and dry plains.
You had better like Lubbock and all it offers because there isn’t much else around it for miles.
This is the home of Buddy Holly, cowboy country, and one of the “Toughest Weather Cities,” according to The Weather Channel.
Here you can sit and watch the wind blow in a dust storm or tour a museum made of windmills.
You’ll get some authentic barbecue for lunch and some of the spiciest Mexican food you can imagine for dinner.
Lubbock is a working-class town with rough edges, possibly shaped by the dry and hot weather that greets you most of the year.
As much as you can eat barbecue with your hands here, you can also tour exquisite wineries with grapes from the South Plains soil.
You’ll be ahMAZEd at the corn mazes here and some of the freshest farmer’s markets this side of the Mississippi.
Don’t get worried when someone screams “GUNS UP,” because that’s the battle cry for the Texas Tech Red Raiders fans, and football is a religion here.
While Lubbock offers plenty of Wild West things to do, there’s also a wild side you need to know about for safety reasons.
Warnings & Dangers in Lubbock
OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM
There's a medium overall risk here, bordering on high, with some of the highest crime rates per capita in the country. The violent crime rate is almost three times the national average, and that is with the year-to-year decrease. Severe weather events are another reason for a higher risk overall.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM
There's a medium risk here, but not for criminal reasons. Citibus is the public bus system and is used by the general population as well as university students. Taxis and rideshares are easy to find, and rental cars are your best option to get around for flexibility. However, the city faces bad driving habits of speeding, drunk driving, and reckless driving that lead to 47 deaths and more than 23 accidents a day!
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
If you're at a home game or visiting a big community event, keep your belongings to a minimum, and don't bring valuables with you. While there aren't usually enough crowds to make it a hotbed of pickpocketing, the onus is on you to keep your belongings secured and in plain sight at all times.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
Yikes. Lubbock gets more than its fair share of tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, intense lightning, flash flooding, and extreme heat. A 1970 EF-5 tornado here was the strongest of its kind on record at the time. 26 people died, and hundreds more were injured.
MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM
The robbery rate is near twice the national average. While you shouldn't overly worry about being robbed, as most violent crimes are among people who know each other, you should be aware there's a higher risk here than in some other Texas towns.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
There's a low risk here with a city of around 257,000 and open land for more than 100 miles in all directions.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
A common scam in 2022 involved people calling, texting, or going door to door asking for gift card donations to a charity that ended up being a non-existent charity. Be careful anytime someone pressures or guilts you into making a purchase. That's a sure sign of a scam.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : MEDIUM
The sexual assault rate in Lubbock is more than twice the national average. Whether that's indicative of a college crowd and a party atmosphere, domestic issues, or random crimes - the police department isn't saying. You should never drink beyond having the ability to make smart decisions here, and don't take a drink if you didn't see the bartender making it. Avoid after-hours house parties.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
The 2021 Water Quality Report is all positive, showing no violations and full compliance with all regulations. The main water concern here is preserving it and restricting it to only necessary uses. Even lawn water schedules are restricted to certain days of the week and times of the day. Do your part here to limit the use of water, like shutting off the faucet while you brush your teeth.
Safest Places to Visit in Lubbock
Visitlubbock.org is the official tourist website for the city, run by the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.
You can get the visitor’s guide by downloading it or having one mailed to you.
The Buddy Holly Center honors one of Lubbock’s most famous residents who was one of the tragic losses “The Day the Music Died” after a plane crash north of Mason City, Iowa.
His memory is preserved here at the center and in the name of a performance hall with plenty of options year-round.
Check the schedule before you go and get tickets early to your favorite show.
On the Texas Tech campus, you’ll find the National Heritage Ranching Center with a look at live ranching on the harsh Texas plains throughout history.
Of the many exhibits, the most popular in recent days is 1883: A Ranching Origin Story, which is the prequel to Yellowstone and the name of a show on the Paramount+ network. While you won’t run into Kevin Costner, you will get to see costumes worn by Faith Hill and Tim McGraw.
While you’re in that area, visit the Lubbock Lake Landmark for a look at pre-historical finds inside and a wide range of trails to explore outside.
This location is on the National Registry of Historic Places, and for good reason – there is evidence of life on this land dating back 12,000 years ago.
If you are visiting in the fall, you simply must check out “At’l Do Farms.”
This is a hotbed of pumpkin patches, hayrides, corn mazes, and hot apple cider.
The rest of the year, you can rent the facility out for big events.
You call also visit one of eight grape farms (aka wineries) throughout the Lubbock region.
For upscale and modern to historic locations and log cabins, there’s something for every winning aficionado.
Places to Avoid in Lubbock
Unless you have a reason to go east of Q. Street, stay on the west side of the city.
The higher crime neighborhoods in the eastern neighborhoods.
It’s smart to avoid different neighborhoods completely and only visit places that exist for tourism, entertainment, or education.
These areas will be better patrolled with more opportunities to call for help.
While we would never condone illegal drug use, we realize some people make different choices.
A large portion of the violent crimes here is related to drugs.
There’s a nationwide issue of Fentanyl being sold in deadly doses while disguised as a prescription drug like Xanax.
Not only are you in dangerous crime areas, but if you go looking for drugs, you could suffer an overdose.
Even recreational marijuana is illegal in Texas.
Dust storms here are called haboobs.
They are giant walls of dust that can slowly (or quickly) move toward the city.
It’s a really cool thing to see.
It’s also pretty dangerous if you are an idiot like I was and stand outside in one.
I sneezed and coughed mud for weeks.
If you are driving during a dust storm, pull over to a safe spot and roll up the windows.
Turn off any ventilation that brings air in from outside.
If you are outside, go inside.
Feel free to watch it from a window.
I promise your respiratory system will thank you.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Lubbock
- Lubbock Police Department offers an interactive crime map on its website. This map has up-to-date data. For example, you can search for car break-ins near your hotel or robberies near a place you want to have dinner.
- If you have any information about a crime that isn’t in progress, report it to the Crime Line. The number is (806)741-1000. If you suspect any foul play, you can help police track down the criminal without having to leave your name.
- There are three patrol districts in town, and each has its own phone number. You can search the LPD website for north, south, or central districts and speak to an officer there to ask about recent crime trends.
- Stoplubbockgangs.org is a website dedicated to education and apprehension involving street gangs. You can watch videos to see signs of gang activity and what to do if a gang member approaches you. The most wanted gang members are also showcased on the website.
- While winter weather isn’t all that common here, it’s not unheard of to get accumulated snow in the winter. If this does happen, you can review the snow and ice removal section of the city’s website to learn about how the streets get cleared.
- Sign up for LBK Alert to get emergency notifications about severe weather or other emergencies. Review the emergency management plan for tornadoes because you might have less than a minute to seek shelter when the warning siren goes off.
- Don’t be distracted when driving here. While that advice holds for any city, Lubbock has a high percentage of traffic accidents and fatalities. Drunk driving increased by 140% in 2021. You need to stick to the traffic laws and don’t get lured into road rage by an aggressive driver. If you are a pedestrian, don’t cross a street – even if you have the right of way – until you see drivers slowing down and make eye contact with them.
- The My LBK app is a direct line of contact to the city and information about all the resources available. You can also report issues, like potholes, in the See Click Fix section.
- Tornado sirens have to be in good working condition here, and the city tests them several times throughout the month. You might hear a two-second tornado drill or one that lasts three minutes. The longer one happens on the second Friday of each month. You do not need to seek shelter when the siren goes off, and the city won’t do the test at that time if there are storms in the area.
- If you are going on a road trip outside the city limits, fill up your gas tank beforehand. There are some stretches of roads that don’t have gas stations for miles. You don’t want to risk running out of gas, especially in the brutal summer heat.
So... How Safe Is Lubbock Really?
All crime categories were down in 2021, which is good news.
The bad news is that the lower numbers still keep it near the top of the list of most dangerous cities.
The advice I’d give for living here is much different than visiting here.
Many of the violent crimes are domestic or escalation of two people who know each other having an argument.
There’s not an overwhelming risk a tourist will be targeted for no reason.
There is a problem with juveniles committing more violent crimes more often and with more severity.
Law enforcement is focusing on crime prevention activities to keep young people engaged in positive surroundings while holding juvenile offenders to the standard of adults when necessary.
The other concerning issue is the number of car crashes with injuries or deaths.
In 2021, 11 people died in car crashes.
Three were related to speeding, and eight were DUI-related.
“We’ve got to get people to slow down on our roadways.
There’s absolutely no reason why we should have had 47 fatalities on our roadways last year.
And these are incidents where people are driving too fast, they’re losing control of the vehicle.
A lot of them are single-car accidents too, where someone’s driving too fast, or trying to negotiate a turn too fast.
Speed has been a problem, and we need people to slow down,” said Lubbock Police Chief Floyd Mitchell.
You also must remember to lock your car door each time you park and roll the windows up all the way.
Common sense, avoiding neighborhoods outside of the popular visiting areas, and good situational awareness will go a long way here.
How Does Lubbock Compare?
|Siem Reap (Cambodia)||63|
|Phnom Penh (Cambodia)||61|
|Niagara Falls (Canada)||87|
|Buenos Aires (Argentina)||60|
- Visas - You need a U.S. Travel or Work Visa to enter through Customs, even at the smaller airports in communities like Lubbock. The Visa process can take months to complete, so start planning well ahead of time.
- Currency - Most places here will take credit cards, so avoid cash if you can. Exchange currency inside a bank and never use a public ATM.
- Weather - Summers are scorching - hot and dry. Bring sunscreen and a dust rag for your face if you have respiratory issues. Winters can get chilly, but it's not nearly as cold as in the northern states. A warm jacket should be good enough.
- Airports - Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport is on the northeast side of the city. It's about 15 minutes from downtown. If you want a larger airport, it's going to be a five-hour drive to Dallas or Albuquerque.
- Travel Insurance - Protect your travel investment and your belongings with travel insurance. Small airports like Lubbock could get more cancelations for the bigger airlines if there is a weather system impacting travel.
Lubbock Weather Averages (Temperatures)
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Texas - Safety by City