Which streets and intersections have a track record?
Texas has some of the busiest highways in the country. Interstates 35 and 610 are bad enough, and then the LBJ Freeway has enough traffic to keep you from home for the better part of a week. Congestion can become quite terrible between the desperate need of updating of the state’s infrastructure and the usual distractions of weather, construction, drinking and driving, cell phones and more.
When this translates to the local level in a place like Houston, you end up seeing accidents on the part of I-610 that travel through the city, as well as Interstate-10, Interstate-69 and State Highway 288.
If you want to find reports and coverage for individual accidents, you can check out NavBug.com, which updates Texas road accident information continually.
In 2016, there were 237 fatal crashes with 245 fatalities on Houston’s highways. Meanwhile, there were 14,832 possible injury crashes. Looking at our state’s roads closer to home, we thought we would see which ones are the most hazardous.
A Forbes report naming the country's most dangerous roads names two Texas highways to the top 10 list, according to their fatality crash rates, which are based on the number of fatal crashes over the last 10 years per million vehicles driven:
Texas US-83: 1.95 (268 fatal crashes, 336 fatalities) and Texas US-87: 1.59 (166 fatal crashes, 197 fatalities)
Local dangers at Houston intersections
A Houston lawyer actually determined which intersections in Houston are the most dangerous, conducting a study that revealed 40 or more collisions between 2012 and 2015. Bissonnet Street and Sam Houston Parkway are the most perilous, with more than 300 accidents injuring 250 people during that time period.
The study showed that the most dangerous intersections in Houston are:
- Greens Road at I-45
- Sam Houston Parkway at Westheimer Road
- Main Street at South Loop
- Beechnut Street at Sam Houston Parkway
- Bissonnet Street at Sam Houston Parkway
- Main Street at Sam Houston Parkway
- Hammerly Boulevard at Sam Houston Parkway
- Hardy Road at Sam Houston Parkway
- Sam Houston Parkway at Westpark Tollway
- I-45 at Sam Houston Parkway
So, what can we do with this information?
How to avoid car accidents
A lot of this will seem like basic information, but it never hurts to be reminded. After all, it has been a very long time since Driver’s Ed.
- Wear your seatbelt: Some people complain about seatbelts being uncomfortable or about the strap cutting into their neck. They make pads for that, and they are even shaped like stuffed animals. If that is not your style, use a cloth or something else soft. Seatbelts are a lifesaving device and are absolutely necessary.
- Do not use your cellphone: Do not text if you are at a red light or stuck in traffic. It takes the brain 6 seconds to refocus on the task at hand, so it is best to remain focused on one task at a time.
- Focus on driving: Again, this might seem obvious, but you would be surprised at how many people decide to eat food at the wheel or apply their makeup in the rear-view mirror. All of that can wait until you reach your destination.
- Drive defensively: You cannot anticipate the actions of others. Be a defensive driver and anticipate that every other on the driver could potentially hit your car.
- Do not speed: The thing to keep in mind, however, is to keep with the speed of traffic. While the speed limit might be 50, everyone might be driving 60 – and this might be accepted in the area. It does not help to drive 20 miles below the speed limit if everybody else is driving 20 miles faster, because you yourself will become a hazard.
- Keep a cushion in between you and the car in front of you: You should keep at least a car-length in between you and the other driver. In bad weather, you should double it. That way if you need to stop unexpectedly, you have room.
- Turn on your headlights: This way, you are far more visible to other drivers. Every little bit helps.
These tips might seem elementary, but people still do not follow them. This is why we have so many car accidents every year and so many people suffer every day. If each of us practices safer driving methods, perhaps we can reduce that number of fatalities.