Living in Texas is a fantasy that many people want to live. Texas has something for everyone between the warm weather, big cities, and country living. People are attracted to the state not just by the warm weather, but also because of the culture and hospitality. The state has more interstate miles than any other state in the nation, and it also has many major cities that are hubs for major trucking routes. This means more drivers on the road, with many commercial trucks hauling large cargo loads. It also means that many people are traveling into and through Texas, every day, and not all of them may be used to the higher traffic volume or may even be familiar with driving in Texas.
When combining high traffic with long distances between exits, you have a recipe for disaster. The number of fatal crashes caused by reckless driving and speeding on Texas highways is alarming.
7 Reasons Why Texas Highways Are Fatal
1. High Volume of Cars
The sheer volume of cars on Texas highways is one of the main reasons traffic accidents occur so often. When there are more cars on the road, there are more chances to go wrong. Some people drive aggressively and weave in and out of traffic, while others drive too slow or stop suddenly when traffic slows down quickly.
2. Drivers Speed and Tailgate
On highways where people drive at high speeds, it is easy to lose control of your vehicle or create a chain reaction involving several vehicles if you are not paying attention to the road and driving at an appropriate speed for road conditions. Speeding is also a factor in many fatal accidents and increases the severity of injuries sustained by drivers and passengers during car accidents.
3. Drivers Run Red Lights and Stop Signs
In Texas, speeding red lights causes thousands of traffic accidents every year, many of which result in injury or death. When approaching intersections with red lights, drivers should keep their eyes open for other cars that may be running the light so they can slow down or take evasive maneuvers.
4. Large Trucks on the Roadway
Texas sees more truck traffic than any other state, which leads to higher crash rates involving trucks. These heavy vehicles cause severe damage when involved in accidents with smaller passenger vehicles.
5. Drunk Driving or Drugged Driving
A drunk driver or a drugged driver can cause catastrophic damage and injuries when they get behind the wheel. Drunk driving is one of the leading causes of fatal crashes in Texas, but prescription drug abuse and illegal drugs are also a growing problem.
6. Rural Roads without Guardrails
There are lots of rural roads without guardrails. Many Texas highways are rural and not protected by guardrails or protective barriers, resulting in more severe crash consequences.
7. Distracted Driving
The number one distraction for drivers is cell phone use, banned throughout Texas because it takes a driver’s attention off the road. Distracted driving cuts down on reaction time and can also cause a driver to leave their lane or hit another vehicle as they drift into adjacent lanes of traffic.
5 Deadliest Texas Highways
The following are the deadliest five Texas highways.
1. Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway, Mesquite, and Garland
According to the data gathered, from Jupiter Road to the I-30 interchange, this stretch of highway is the most hazardous, with 12 people killed in crashes between 2017 and 2019.
2. I-20, Fort Worth, Forest Hill, and Kennedale
The most dangerous stretch of this highway is from the I-820 interchange to the I-35 West interchange. A total of 12 fatal accidents were recorded from 2017 to 2019.
3. TX-183, Irving, Fort Worth, and Euless
There is a particularly treacherous stretch of this road between North Beltline Road and North Industrial Boulevard. During this research, 12 people lost their lives in collisions on this stretch of road.
4. I-45 – Houston
Running through Houston and Dallas, I-45 is one of the most well-traveled highways in Texas. Not only that, but it also has one of the highest fatality rates over recent years. From 2011 to 2019, the I-45 was the country’s most dangerous highway, with 12 lives lost on the road between 2017 and 2019.
5. I-35 – Austin
Interstate 35 is among the highest traffic interstates in Texas, running for about 400 miles. 14 lives were lost, and several others were seriously injured in thousands of traffic accidents on I-35 from 2017 to 2019. Nearly half of the Lone Star State population lives within a few miles of I-35, which means that many motorists traveling on I-35 may encounter road construction projects.
5 Safety Tips for Driving on Texas Highways
No matter how careful you are on the road, there is still a chance of being involved in an auto accident. To help you avoid an accident or handle one when it happens, here are some safety tips to keep in mind:
1. Drive Defensively
Always assume other drivers are not going to do what they are supposed to do — stop at red lights, use turn signals or stay out of your blind spots. Please do not get frustrated by other drivers; focus on doing whatever it takes to keep yourself out of a dangerous situation.
2. Buckle Up
Seat belts save lives, and Texas law requires them for front-seat occupants and children under 17 who ride in the back seat. Family members should wear their seat belts no matter where they sit in the vehicle.
3. Keep Your Eyes on the Road
Distracted driving is a growing problem in today’s society, but it only takes a few seconds of distraction for an accident to happen. Set your cell phone aside and never text behind the wheel when you drive. Make a safe stop if you need to use your phone while driving,
4. Stick to the Speed Limit
Exceeding the speed limit is risky for obvious reasons — you have less time to react to other drivers, pedestrians, or bicyclists. It also increases your chances of getting into an accident and hurting yourself or others more severely. Remember, speed limits are set as a maximum and not an average, so you are breaking the law if you drive even just a few miles per hour over the limit.
Keep Yourself Safe
With all the incredible panoramic views you get during your drive, it is easy to forget that Texas has some pretty high fatality rates. If you are going to drive, be sure to buckle up, pay attention, and never text.
Speak With a Dallas Personal Injury Attorney For Free
If you have been injured in a car accident in Texas and you have questions about your legal options, call our personal injury attorneys 24/7 at 214-651-6100 or 1-877-405-4313 for your free case evaluation. Tell us your story and we’ll give you your options. The attorneys at Rasansky Law Firm are happy to speak to you about your potential case free of charge. If we can help with your claim, we’ll do so for no out-of-pocket cost to you. Call us 24/7 at (214) 651-6100, or toll-free at 1-877-405-4313.