It is no secret that Houston has some of the worst traffic in the nation. The risks of driving to work, school, or to run errands surround Houstonians every single day. While the traffic is certainly frustrating, the more disturbing factor is it is also extremely deadly.
In fact, a recent Houston Chronicle investigation revealed 640 people die each year on Houston-area roads, and 2,850 more are seriously injured. That is the equivalent of three fully loaded 737 airplanes fatally crashing.
Commuting Causes Accidents in Houston
The report also revealed one of the major factors causing these all-too-frequent fatal car accidents is commuting. Because the city is so vast and spread out, many Houstonians spend at least 30 minutes commuting to work, school, and other destinations throughout the day. While commuting is something we have mostly become accustomed to, what makes matters worse is the fact that Houston roads were designed for maximum speed in order to keep the flow of traffic moving consistently. When you combine the excessive number of people on the road with lack of infrastructure and speeding, roadway disasters ensue.
Solutions to Houston’s Accident Problem
While Houstonians have come to terms with miserable commutes, the sheer number of accidents and deaths (11 fatal wrecks and 12 deaths per week) is hard to ignore. So what can we do to fix the problem? Researchers and officials have been asking this question for quite some time now in order to make the city safer. A few solutions to accidents caused by commuting include:
- Stricter or more heavily enforced traffic laws.
- Lower speed limits on highways.
- Give cyclists and pedestrians more bike lanes and sidewalks.
- Cameras on highways to help capture speeding and issue citations.
- Create more High Occupancy Toll (HOT) and High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes.
- Respond more rapidly to road-blocking accidents.
- Offer carpooling incentives.
Houston Accident Help
Of course, these solutions require copious resources and funds that seem not to be there. Perhaps the biggest component that could drive change is if we got more Houstonians to care. The acts of speeding and distracted driving contribute largely to the problems of accidents during commutes as well. Changing our driving behavior is one small step toward a solution for the city.