Why Does Houston Have So Many Car Accidents vs Other Cities in Texas?
According to a recent report by the Houston Chronicle, Houston not only has far more car accidents than other cities in Texas. It is also one of the deadliest cities in all of the USA. Around 2,850 people are seriously injured in car accidents every year in Houston and a further 640 lose their lives.
The Houston Chronicle makes a sobering point about that last statistic: the fatality rate is the equivalent of three 737 airplanes crashing every year – killing all of the passengers on board. But why does Houston tragically experience so many car accidents each year? Let’s find out.
Poor Road Designs
Poor road design decisions from decades ago, such as the tight curves on old freeways like Interstate 69 and Loop 610, are partially responsible for the high rate of road accidents.
Plus, on the frontage roads that are parallel to Interstate 10, cars can appear from any direction. So, if drivers do not keep a careful eye on the road, they have a high risk of experiencing a collision. Indeed, 9% of collisions in that area happen on frontage roads.
If regions of the road network in Houston had been designed with better safety in mind, the number of accidents could have been reduced.
Suburban development in Houston over the last few decades has changed how drivers use farm-to-market roads. Many now speed along FM 1960, for example, and then have to suddenly slam their brakes on to avoid drivers who are making turns.
Of course, not all drivers brake in time in such circumstances. That means accidents are sure to occur. Around a dozen deaths occur on the FM 1960 alone each year.
Many Intersections Are Confusing Due to Shopping Center Entrances
There are now a lot of entrances to shopping centers along FM 1960 and Westheimer. Many drivers find those intersection sections confusing and they have significantly contributed to car accidents.
For instance, between 2012 and 2016, 37% of collisions in Houston’s nine counties occurred on interstates like those. And those accidents represented over 25% of all fatalities from car accidents in Houston over that period.
Houston’s High Speed Limits
Due to high congestion in Houston, many of the roads have higher speed limits than other cities in Texas and the nation. For instance, the speed limit on a portion of the Grand Parkway is 75 MPH.
While raising the speed limit may help with congestion problems, it also leads to more accidents.
Houston’s Roads Are in Need of Repair
The locals of Houston know only too well that many of the city’s roads are in desperate need of repair. On some roads, it is common to find potholes and dangerous patches of asphalt. Poor drainage and faded lane markers are problematic too.
All of those issues create a higher risk for drivers.
Contact a Houston Personal Injury Lawyer if You Are Injured in a Car Accident
Needless to say, if you are driving in Houston, you should take the utmost care. In addition to remaining alert, it could be beneficial to avoid known dangerous hotspots.
If you do find yourself being injured in a car accident, and the accident was not your fault, you should contact an experienced and skillful Houston, Texas personal injury attorney who can help you to seek the compensation that you are entitled to.
You could get damages to cover costs like medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
You now know some of the top reasons why car accidents are so common in Houston compared to other cities in Texas.
So, to recap, if you should find yourself driving in Houston, remember that car accidents are high because of:
- Poor road designs.
- Suburban development.
- Confusing intersections that have shopping center entrances.
- High speed limits.
- Roads in need of repair.
You can then plan your journey appropriately to stay safe. Also, check out other known dangerous roads in Texas.