As one of the largest commuter cities, Houston is well known for having some of the worst traffic in the country. While driving in Houston traffic is very frustrating, it can also be extremely dangerous and even deadly. It is not surprising to any Houstonians that our city leads the nation in car accident deaths per year, according to a recent investigation by the Houston Chronicle. This investigation included car accident deaths involving vehicle, bicyclist, and pedestrian fatalities as a result of speed, driver intoxication, drug use, heavy trucks accidents, road rage, traffic congestion, and police related incidents. On average, Houston has 11 fatal car accidents per week with an average of 12 deaths.
Multiple Causes of Car Accident Deaths
Why are there so many car accident deaths per year on Houston roads? While individual reckless driving is an important factor in car accident fatalities, additional outside factors influence the frequency as well:
- Houston commuters have long drives that keep them on the road for an average of almost 30 minutes to and from work, school, and other destinations each day. Instead of using the city’s public transportation system, four out of five commuters drive alone each day, which keeps more cars on the road.
- The roads are designed for maximum speed in an attempt to keep traffic moving as quickly as possible. Higher speed limits are inherently more dangerous to Houston drivers and contribute to a higher number of car accident deaths per year.
- Enforcement of traffic laws by police officers has decreased over the past few years. Speeding tickets have decreased across the region, even as more people are commuting. The law banning Texans from texting while driving has been loosely enforced in the Houston area which is why many drivers still feel comfortable texting and driving, taking their attention away from the road.
- State lawmakers have reduced and restricted the use of speed and red-light cameras and have enforced the ban on sobriety checkpoints.
- The lack of consistent sidewalks and bike lanes forces cyclists and pedestrians to move right into traffic, increasing the danger of a car accident death for all parties involved.
With the excessive number of people on the road at any given time, the lack of appropriate infrastructure to accommodate those people, inconsistent enforcement of traffic laws, and the reckless habits of many drivers in Houston, the result is frequent roadway tragedies ending in more car accident deaths per year than any other city in the country.
Houston Car Accident Attorneys
Driving in Houston is a daily aspect of life for the vast majority of Houstonians. While we may witness reckless driving on the roads every day, traffic laws and regulations remain in place for a reason. Drivers who speed, drive while intoxicated, and/or ignore traffic signs and signals are knowingly putting innocent lives in danger. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in a Houston car accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Contact the personal injury trial attorneys at Adame Garza for a free consultation today. There is limited time to act following a Texas car accident, so don’t delay.