Houston roads and highways see their fair share of speeding drivers, however, street racing activity across the city has recently escalated to dangerous new heights. Due to COVID-19-related stay-at-home orders and the subsequent decline in traffic, street racers have seized upon an opportunity Houston roads rarely present. Now, the Houston Police Department (HPD) has launched small units across the city to patrol for dangerous drivers during all hours of the day in an attempt to crack down on the serious and growing problem.
Street Racing Woes
A Houstonian does not have to live downtown or even inside the Loop in order to hear the loud rev of souped-up cars as they speed down roads and highways. Across the city, residents have reported street racing activity, so much so that HPD is now focusing its time and resources on racing hot spots in each of the districts it serves. Some may view street racing as harmless fun, but the fact is high-speed driving is among the top causes of fatal car accidents. According to the National Safety Council, speeding was a factor in 26% of all deadly car accidents in 2018 alone. This translates to around 25 people a day being killed because drivers refuse to follow posted speed limits.
Street racing is more than just a nuisance for nearby residents that must endure the sounds of racing during all hours of the night. Street racing not only puts drivers’ and passengers’ lives in danger, but it also risks the lives of all who share the road, including cyclists and pedestrians. Cyclists and pedestrians are at a greater risk of suffering a catastrophic injury or death during nighttime when visibility is reduced. Visibility is a common risk factor for auto-pedestrian accidents – the dangers of nighttime visibility increase tenfold if a car is speeding and thus unable to safely stop in a timely manner. Increased speed also causes an increase in the severity of injuries as well as the chances of fatal car accident.
Additionally, the reckless behavior damages Houston’s infrastructure annually, causing the need for additional construction to repair streets and surroundings – which can bring traffic dangers of its own, such as debris and changes in road conditions.
What Can Be Done?
The citywide problem of street racing has many Houstonians asking what can be done to ensure safe roads for all. The first and most important action every Houstonian can take is to simply follow posted speed limits and obey traffic laws. While this sounds basic, a conscious decision made by drivers to follow speed limits could significantly reduce the amount of fatal speed-related accidents each year. Sadly, it is impossible to control the actions of other drivers, and even the safest driver could become the victim of another driver’s negligence. One way Houstonians can help each other is to report street racing activity to HPD’s non-emergency number. If it is possible to do, citizens should safely take down the information on a speeding car (the license plate number and color, make, and model of the vehicle) for HPD. Houstonians can also take neighborhood safety concerns to local officials and demand action to address street racing.
Houston Speeding Car Accident Attorneys
Houstonians understand that avoiding driving is nearly impossible in our city. Drivers should not have to fear for their lives because of others’ reckless decisions to turn a highway into a racetrack. Moreover, all Houstonians have the right to feel safe in their neighborhoods, and street racers pose a real and serious threat to all who live near or travel the same roads. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed due to a speeding driver, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the Houston car accident attorneys at Adame Garza today to discuss your case at no cost.