With over 13,000 miles of asphalt, Texas contains more highway miles than any other state in the U.S. However, as any driver knows from experience, not all highways are created equal. While some are a pleasure to drive, others are downright nightmarish – and not only because of the traffic jams. In this article, a Dallas car accident lawyer of Queenan Law will count down some of the deadliest and most accident-prone highway corridors in Texas.
TxDOT Highway and Interstate Accident and Crash Fatality Statistics
Each year, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) releases a series of detailed reports analyzing various crash factors and statistics. The following statistics come from TxDOT’s 2014 reports, the most recent set of data available.
- There were 5,658 crashes in Arlington, 12,827 crashes in Fort Worth, 27,734 crashes in Dallas, and 60,472 crashes in Houston.
- Months with the highest numbers of interstate fatalities included:
- March – 64 deaths
- December – 59
- August – 58
- Months with the highest numbers of U.S. and state highway fatalities included:
- October – 145 deaths
- December – 143
- April/November – 136
- At the opposite end of the spectrum, months with the lowest numbers of interstate fatalities included January (34), February (35), and November (45). Months with the lowest numbers of U.S. and state highway fatalities included February (103), August (108), and September (110).
- Dry road surface conditions were most common in all types of crashes (fatal, incapacitating, non-incapacitating, possible injury, and no injury). Wet road surfaces were second most common in all accident categories. Crashes involving snow, slush, ice, standing water, and sand were all significantly less common.
12 of the Most Congested and Dangerous Highway Corridors in Texas
For safety purposes, the maximum speed limit in Texas is generally restricted to 70 MPH. However, speed limits as high as 75, 80, or 85 MPH may be approved.
Unfortunately, a 2009 study published in the American Journal of Public Health revealed – perhaps unsurprisingly – that speed limit increases on all road types nationwide were responsible for an overall 3.2% increase in auto accident deaths, which makes highways particularly dangerous for drivers and passengers alike. According to the study, “The highest increases were on rural interstates (9.1%) and urban interstates (4.0%). We estimated that 12,545 deaths… and 36,583 injuries in fatal crashes… were attributable to increases in speed limits across the United States.” When you add impatient commuters, aggressive driving, and congested conditions to the mix, it becomes a recipe for disaster – particularly if the highway itself suffers from design defects such as poor visibility, narrow shoulders, large potholes, faded road lines, or debris.
With all of these variables working against motorists, it’s easy to see why highways and interstates are responsible for so many tragic, preventable deaths and injuries. According to an analysis of data compiled by the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG), some of the most dangerous highways in Texas include:
- Dallas County
- I-45 (I-30 to Lamar) – 117 crashes
4. Woodall Rodgers Freeway (Stemmons to Central Expressway) – 161 crashes
3. LBJ Freeway (Dallas North Tollway to Central Expressway) – 479 crashes
2. LBJ Freeway (I-35E to Dallas North Tollway) – 530 crashes
1. Central Expressway (LBJ Freeway to I-30) – 1,230 crashes
- Tarrant County
- East Loop 820 (I-30 to I-20) – 295 crashes
3. I-30 (I-35W to Loop 820) – 411 crashes
2. I-35W (Loop 820 to I-30) – 491 crashes
1. State Highway 360 (I-30 to I-20) – 533 crashes
Other dangerous highways include I-10 (591 crash fatalities from 2004 to 2008), I-20 (390 crash fatalities during the same time period), and, to a lesser extent, I-44 (seven crash fatalities during the same time period).
According to the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington area contained 34 of the state’s top 100 most congested as of 2015. The Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown area performed even worse, accounting for 38 of Texas’ top 100 most congested highways.
Contact our Houston Car Accident Attorneys
Thanks to a combination of reckless drivers and road design oversights, Texas highways can be extremely hazardous, even for the most careful and safety-conscious drivers. If you or one of your family members was injured in a car accident on I-35, I-30, I-45, or other highways in the Dallas or Houston areas of Texas, the careless driver who caused the accident may be liable for your lost earnings, pain and suffering, and various medical bills, including charges for hospital care, ambulance rides, prescription medication, and surgery.
A Houston wrongful death attorney of Queenan Law can help car accident victims get compensated for serious and disabling injuries. We are strategic, aggressive settlement negotiators who never take shortcuts and always fight hard. If necessary, we will take your case to court. Our mission is to recover the greatest amount of compensation possible for you and your loved ones.
To set up a confidential legal consultation about your accident, call the Queenan Law Firm, P.C. at (817) 476-1797. Our caring and knowledgeable legal team is here to explain, protect, and uphold your legal rights as an injury victim in Texas. We also handle Texas truck accidents and auto accidents resulting in wrongful death.