Auto Accidents in Houston

Auto Accidents in Houston

Is Houston the Deadliest City for Motor Vehicle Accidents?

Houston has recently seen an increase in fatal motor vehicle accidents, leading it to be known as one of the nation's most dangerous places to drive. In our line of work, we understand that even crashes classified as “non-injurious” can still seriously disrupt a victim's life. What are some of the causes of these accidents, and what can you do if you find yourself involved in one? 

Read on to discover the answers every Houston driver needs to know about auto accidents in Houston. You can also reach out to an experienced Houston car accident lawyer to determine your options to pursue compensation.

How Many Car Accidents Occur Each Day in Houston? 

Have you ever driven past a bad wreck in the 610 loop and wondered how many auto accidents occur per day in Houston? 

The Texas Department of Transportation reports that Houston roads saw 68,682 crashes in a recent year. That's far more than any other Texas city in the study.

If we do the math, that means 188 car accidents happen in Houston per day. We can further break down the statistics of this year's total number of Houston auto accidents into the following categories:

  • 240 fatal crashes, resulting in 253 deaths
  • 1,200 suspected serious crashes with 1,392 suspected serious injuries
  • 5,357 non-incapacitating crashes
  • 15,329 possible injury crashes
  • 43,328 non-injury crashes
  • 3,228 crashes of unknown severity

Is Houston Traffic Bad?

In one recent year, the U.S. Census Bureau report counted nearly 1.4 million vehicles in Houston. Additionally, a new study by the Federal Highway Administration found Houstonians drove an average of 36 miles per day. This is the highest driving per capita among the numerous urban areas surveyed across the nation. We all know Houston traffic is no joke. The city's sprawling size, combined with its limited public transportation options, is a recipe for disaster.

Plus, over the last decade, the Greater Houston metropolitan area had the third largest population growth in the country. Now, we are the most populated city in Texas. Nearly 7 million residents call Houston home, and many of them have long commutes. This means tons of automobiles are on the roads for hours each day, sometimes in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

Most Dangerous Roads for Houston Accidents

Busy city streets mean more chances for accidents. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, last year throughout Texas 75% of all accidents occurred in urban areas, while only 25% of accidents occurred in rural areas. 

Farm-to-market roads passing through urban areas have the highest incidence of accidents. FM 1960 alone carries more than 60,000 vehicles per day and sees about a dozen deaths per year.

Recently, tech company Lytx compiled data from cameras in Houston vehicles. Their findings revealed the most dangerous roads in Houston:

  • I-610 at the intersection with North McCarty Street
  • I-610 and Main St.
  • I-10 West of intersection 1-610
  • Intersection of I-10 and I-45 near Providence Street
  • East of the intersection between I-45 and I-610
  • I-69 and Westpark Dr.
  • I-45 between West Cavalcade Street and West Patton Street

According to Lytx, most car accidents in Houston happen on Friday mornings between 9 AM and noon.

Furthermore, a study by ValuePenguin concluded that I-45 was the second-most dangerous highway in America, averaging 56 fatal accidents every 100 miles.

Beltway 8, also known as the Sam Houston Freeway, stretches 88 miles around the Houston area. Its intersections are the sites of numerous accidents. In fact, data from the TxDOT suggests the intersection of Sam Houston Freeway and Bissonnet Street is the most dangerous intersection in the state of Texas.

What Causes Houston Car Accidents?

Car accidents in Houston can occur due to various reasons, and the Texas Department of Transportation compiles data on crash contributing factors. Some common causes of car accidents in Houston include:

  • Distracted Driving: This is a leading cause of accidents nationwide. Activities such as texting, talking on the phone, eating, or adjusting the radio while driving can lead to accidents.
  • Speeding: Driving at speeds higher than the posted limits or too fast for road conditions can result in accidents. Speeding reduces the driver's reaction time and increases the severity of collisions.
  • Drunk Driving: Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a significant contributor to accidents. Impaired drivers have reduced coordination and decision-making abilities. In a recent year, there were 2,436 Houston DUI crashes, resulting in 73 fatalities.
  • Reckless Driving: Aggressive and reckless behavior, making unsafe lane changes, failing to yield, and tailgating, can lead to accidents.
  • Weather Conditions: Houston can experience heavy rain and occasional flooding. Wet and slippery roads can contribute to accidents if drivers do not adjust their driving to the weather conditions.
  • Driver Fatigue: Tired or drowsy drivers are more prone to accidents as their reaction time slows down, and they may even fall asleep at the wheel.
  • Failure to Obey Traffic Signals: Disregarding traffic signals, running red lights, and not yielding the right of way can lead to collisions.
  • Poor Road Conditions: Potholes, uneven road surfaces, and inadequate signage can contribute to accidents.
  • Inexperienced Drivers: Inexperienced or novice drivers may lack the skills and judgment needed to navigate complex traffic situations.
  • Vehicle Defects: Mechanical failures or defects in vehicles, such as faulty brakes or tire blowouts, can lead to accidents.

It's important to contact an experienced Houston car accident attorney if you suffered injuries in a motor vehicle accident a negligent or reckless driver caused.

Commercial Vehicle Accidents in Houston

6,369 car accidents in Harris County involved commercial motor vehicles such as semi-trucks. The massive size of trucks like these makes them unwieldy and hazardous to smaller cars sharing the road with them.

To add to the problem, many commercial truck drivers are overworked or improperly trained. They may be speeding to meet a deadline or distracted by rerouting their GPS. Additionally, commercial vehicles require routine maintenance. Ideally, they should be inspected before and after every trip they make. If this maintenance is neglected, a faulty auto part could cause an accident on the road. For example, tire blowouts are one common cause of semi-truck accidents.

Road Work and Houston Accidents

It’s fair to say Houston residents are well-acquainted with construction zones. Our city seems to be an eternal work in progress!

Unexpected detours or road closures can heighten tensions on the road and lead to car accidents. Last year, Harris County had 2,756 crashes in work zones, while Fort Bend County had 738.

Were You Hurt in a Houston Car Accident?

Attorney, Stewart J. Guss

If you've been involved in a Houston car accident another driver caused, we can help. After a car accident, there's a lot to think about. How will you take care of your home, run errands, or provide for your family? If your car was totaled, how can you get a rental car or make up for the time you had to take off of work? Most importantly of all, how will you recover from your injuries and pay off your medical bills?

We know these problems can be overwhelming, and we've made it our job to handle them. We believe you shouldn't have to cope with any unnecessary stress after the trauma of a car accident.

A Houston car accident lawyer can connect you to the resources and legal options you need and deserve. Give us a call or request a free consultation here.