The Houston area is well known for its traffic filled highways and aggressive drivers, but just how many car crashes happen in the Houston area? According to the Texas Department of Transportation, Houston led the state in 2019 with 68,682 car crashes – averaging over 188 every day. This number is alarming and does not provide any comfort to Houstonians driving in the city daily. The situation does not get any better when we zoom out and look at all of Harris County either. In 2019, there were 113,525 reported car crashes in Harris County. Why are so many car crashes happening? What are the main contributing factors to car crashes in the Houston area? Knowing the risks of where you live will help you take precautions against getting into car accidents while living in Houston.
More Cars, More Accidents
Houston is continuing to grow as more and more Americans are moving to our city to take advantage of the variety of work industries as well as the culture of this diverse city. The Texas A&M Transportation Institute’s 2019 ranking of Texas’ most congested roadways shows that traffic gridlock is getting worse every year, especially in growing cities like Houston. Houston’s own West Loop held on to its 2018 rank as the most gridlocked corridor in Texas.
These Houston area roads also made the top 10 list of Texas’ Most Congested Roads:
- The Southwest Fwy (IH 69 / US 59) from I610 to SH 288
- The Eastex Fwy (IH 69 / US 59) from SH 288 to IH 10
- The Gulf Fwy (I 45) from IH 10 to S Loop E Fwy (IH 610)
- The Katy Fwy (IH 10) from N Eldridge Pkwy to Sam Houston Tollway W (SL 8)
Distracted Driving Increasing
More and more drivers are paying less attention to their driving and more to their phones, children, or pets in the car, infotainment systems, or to eating and drinking while driving. In Harris County, there were over 12,000 car crashes caused by distracted drivers in 2019. Driving while distracted infinitely increases the chance of getting into a car accident. Technically, driving while texting or answering e-mails in Texas is illegal; however, Houston area police departments do not enforce these traffic laws and thus distracted driving causes and contributes to more accidents each year.
Driving Under the Influence
Even though ridesharing services are more accessible than ever, car crashes caused by drivers who are under the influence still occur at a high rate. Many Houston drivers go out after work to a happy hour to have “just a few drinks” and will end up driving their cars home while under the influence. In Houston, drivers who were under the influence caused almost 4% of car crashes in 2019. If you live near an area of town that is known to have lots of bars and/or late-night restaurants, you must stay vigilant and be prepared to quickly react to drivers who may be under the influence.
Speeding Can Kill
While sitting in traffic may not be fun, being on an open road with drivers who are speeding without regard for others on the road can be much more dangerous. Speeding does not save time and only puts others around you at risk. Car crashes resulting from speeding in Houston can be avoided by drivers obeying the traffic laws and driving the speed limit.
Never Ending Construction
There are always roads under construction in Houston. If you live near a highway, you may find one or multiple lanes closed on the highway or feeder at any given time. These sudden changes can increase the likelihood of a car crash near you. Keep an eye on traffic reports, as well as road signs, to see when road conditions may be changing.
Houston Car Accident Attorneys
Driving in Houston is unavoidable. There are many reckless, selfish drivers on the road and you have to be prepared in case one of those drivers crashes into your car. 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.