A truck accident attorney using Texas Department of Transportation statistics has ranked the 279 most hazardous intersections in the state of Texas. Disturbingly, a disproportionate number of the intersections near the top of that list of dangerous intersections are in Houston or the greater Houston area. Forty or more traffic collisions were reported at eighty different Houston area intersections between 2012 and 2015. That’s more than 3,200 accidents in a four-year period at intersections alone.
The Texas Department of Transportation defines an “intersection crash” as a “traffic crash that occurs within the boundaries of an intersection,” and an “intersection-related crash” as a “traffic crash in which (1) the first harmful event occurs on an approach to or exit from an intersection and (2) results from an activity, behavior or control related to the movement of traffic units through the intersection.”
WHICH INTERSECTIONS ARE THE DANGEROUS ONES?
Seven of the ten most dangerous intersections in Texas are in Houston; the remaining three are in San Antonio. The intersection of Bissonnet Street and Sam Houston Parkway is statistically the most dangerous in the state, both in terms of accidents and injuries, with more than 300 collisions resulting in about 250 reported injuries in the years from 2012 through 2015. The ten most dangerous intersections in the state of Texas are:
10: Bandera Road and Loop 1604 (San Antonio)
9: Beechnut Street at Sam Houston Parkway (Houston)
8: Main Street at Sam Houston Parkway (Houston)
7: Greens Road at Interstate 45 (Houston)
6: Main Street at South Loop (Houston)
5: Braun Road and Loop 1604 (San Antonio)
4: Interstate 10 and Loop 1604 (San Antonio)
3: Sam Houston Parkway at Westheimer Road (Houston)
2: Hardy Road at Sam Houston Parkway (Houston)
1: Bissonnet Street at W. Sam Houston Parkway (Houston)
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, “There were 13,616 serious injury crashes in Texas in 2015 with 17,011 people sustaining a serious injury.” Fatalities in Texas traffic collisions in 2015 numbered 3,531. And as dangerous as the intersections can be in the Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas areas, the fatalities in traffic crashes in rural areas of the state constituted more than half of the state’s traffic deaths. There were 1,925 fatalities in rural traffic crashes in Texas in 2015. Based on 2015 statistics:
-One person was killed every 2 hours and 29 minutes in a Texas traffic collision in 2015.
-One person was injured every 2 minutes and 8 seconds.
-One crash was reported every 61 seconds.
Also, according to the Department of Transportation, statewide in 2015, “there were 807 people killed in crashes occurring in intersections or related to an intersection.” In Houston, intersection-related accidents are creating a virtual traffic crisis. The city experienced a 42 percent rise in the number of intersection-related collisions from 21,524 in 2012 to 30,583 in 2015. Some say the removal of red-light cameras may have been partly responsible for that increase.
Not by coincidence, according to the National Coalition for Safer Roads, Houston had the highest number of red-light running fatalities in the nation between 2004 and 2013. After red-light cameras were removed in Houston in 2010, and from 2010 to 2014 at intersections that previously had cameras, fatal crashes rose by 30 percent. Total crashes in the city increased in that period by 116 percent, and DWI-related collisions increased by 186 percent.
WHAT ARE THE DANGEROUS HOUSTON INTERSECTIONS FOR PEDESTRIANS?
The list of the most dangerous intersections for pedestrians in Houston is a somewhat different list. In 2014, 476 pedestrians were struck and killed by motor vehicles in Texas. Also in 2014, Smart Growth America identified Houston the seventh most dangerous city in the nation for pedestrians and the most dangerous city for them in Texas. According to Texas Department of Transportation figures, the most dangerous intersections for pedestrians in Houston are:
5: Beechnut and Bissonnet
4: McCue and Westheimer
3: Elmside and Westheimer
2: Louisiana and Mcgowen
1: Bissonnet and Woodfair
Pedestrians are dying in Houston at an even higher rate in 2016, Houston police said in November. “The numbers are just dramatically going up, and it’s been really hard for us to explain why,” Houston Police Sgt. Derrick Hall said at a news conference on November 3. At least 71 pedestrian fatalities had been reported through the end of October, a figure that is 31 percent higher than the total for all of 2015. Total Houston traffic fatalities are up by 21 percent compared to the same period in 2015.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO AFTER A TRAFFIC ACCIDENT?
Anyone injured by a negligent motorist in the Houston area should seek medical attention immediately, even if you do not believe that you have been injured. Many injuries may not be noticeable or detectable in the first hours after an accident. Later, if an injury emerges and you need to pursue a personal injury claim, if you did not obtain medical attention at the time of the accident, a defendant’s lawyer may argue that you were either already injured or not really injured at all.
Even before consulting with a Houston personal injury lawyer, if you are injured in an accident with a negligent driver, you must begin compiling information as soon as you realize that you are hurt. Call the police and be certain that you get a copy of the accident report. Photographs can make the difference in personal injury trials, so take plenty of pictures of the crash site, all of the vehicles involved, and your own visible injuries. Identify any eyewitnesses and get their contact information. If you file a personal injury claim with the help of a Houston personal injury lawyer, eyewitness testimony can be a huge plus on your behalf.
Especially during the holiday season, every driver in the Houston area needs to be extra vigilant, and not only at intersections. Even parking lots can be quite hazardous this time of year. Make sure that your vehicle is well-maintained – that’s something that is easy to overlook during the holidays. Don’t pile up packages in your vehicle in a way that blocks your vision. If you plan to celebrate with friends, don’t drink and drive – arrange for a designated driver or a ride-for-hire. And always, always drive cautiously – and without distractions – if you must drive through Houston’s most dangerous intersections.
By Chris Brasure
Brasure Law Firm, PLLC was founded by Chris Brasure in 2006. His legal accomplishments are diverse and numerous. He is a fellow with the Texas Bar Foundation, was a delegate in the American Bar Association House of Delegates and holds a BA in political science and speech communication from Baylor University. He then went on to obtain his law degree from Baylor University Law School. Chris believes that education is absolutely critical to one’s success, so his firm now offers The Brasure Law Firm Scholarship to give back to the community and to help students who are seeking to pursue a higher education.