Which highways and interstates to avoid
Getting around by car in Texas can be a trying challenge. Sometimes you would do better leaving hours earlier, just to miss rush hour... but then, it seems that rush hour somehow never ends. And as you can see any day online, the accidents never appear to cease.
It might be because the highways and roads in Texas are beyond comprehension when it comes to how dangerous they are.
In fact, Texas ranked #1 for the most highway fatalities in 2016 with 3,751 deaths caused by motor vehicles. We thought that we would review the more popular areas of transit so that you can be more aware when you travel – and perhaps take another route home.
The most dangerous highways in Texas
Here is a look at some of the worst of the worst when it comes to roads in the Lone Star State. The Texas Department of Transportation has put together a list of the 100 most congested roads, and this, coupled with accident data, has allowed us to find the most accident-prone areas. We were also able to determine the hours lost annually because of traffic jams.
- Interstate 35 from US 290N to SH71 (Travis County)
- Annual Hours of Delay Per Mile: 1,086,136
- IH 10/US Highway 90 from Sam Houston Tollway to IH 610 (Harris County)
- Annual Hours of Delay Per Mile: 532,133
- Interstate 610 from IH 10/ US Highway 90 to US 59/IH 69 (Harris County)
- Annual Hours of Delay Per Mile: 1,112,917
- LBJ Freeway (IH 635) from IH 35E / US 77 to US 75 (Dallas County)
- Annual Hours of Delay Per Mile: 584,661
- East Loop 820 from SH 183 to IH 30 (Tarrant County)
- Annual Hours of Delay Per Mile: 140, 527
- Interstate 45 from Sam Houston Tollway N to IH 610 (Harris County)
- Annual Hours of Delay Per Mile: 656,582
- State Highway 360 from RM 2244 to US 290 / SH 71 (Travis County)
- Annual Hours of Delay Per Mile: 186,079
- Interstate 30 / US 67 from Jefferson Viaduct to SL 12 E (Dallas County)
- Annual Hours of Delay Per Mile: 378,272
- Woodall Rodgers Freeway from US 75 to N Beckley Ave (Dallas County)
- Annual Hours of Delay Per Mile: 748,546
Why are these roads so bad?
There are a number of reasons why certain roads in Texas become more dangerous than others.
- Infrastructure: Texas voters recently approved Proposition 7, which sets aside at least $2.5 billion for the improvement of roads (though it cannot be used for toll projects). When highways do not have enough lanes, have steep grades, sharp curves or are too narrow to fit the heavy loads of traffic surging through them, then the government has a problem that it must fix. Then there are the issues of degrading pavement, potholes, fading lines and upkeep that comes with maintaining highways. Hopefully Proposition 7 does the job.
- Distraction: This is a historic problem when it comes to driving that we have discussed before. Using your cell phone, eating at the wheel, applying makeup, fiddling with your iPod – a few seconds of inattention can cost you your life.
- Equipment breakdown: You might have seen the scraps of a blown-out tire along the side of the road from a big rig whose wheels could not take the pressure. There are also the uphill grades for runaway trucks, though hopefully you’ve never seen them in use. Anytime a large truck loses control of its brakes or blows a tire, you want to be far, far away from it.
- Weather: Everyone thinks they can drive well until it starts pouring buckets of rain. Then it starts hailing, and you wonder how you ever passed your driving test. As you inch along, going miles below the speed limit with about five inches in your field of vision, you realize that you cannot see any other cars. And then you get rear-ended.
- Drinking and driving: This should go without saying, but drinking and driving is a terrible idea. It is illegal and inadvisable. Get there safe and in one piece.
- Construction: With Texas’ constant expansion (especially now with Proposition 7 helping with infrastructure) and the rapidly-increasing population, it seems that the old joke rings true. There are four seasons: fall, winter, spring and construction.
- Big rigs: With the infrastructure picking up and the state’s fracking boom, Texas has an enormous number of big rig trucks on the road that carry tools, oil, parts – you name it. If you have one on either side of you and one in front, you are effectively boxed in with no way to see ahead of you, and that can be absolutely terrifying. Should one of them stop too quickly or take a turn too fast… it could spell trouble.
If you need a lawyer who is well versed in Texas personal injury law and knows the roads inside and out, consider speaking with an Enjuris attorney.