Living in or near Houston, you have likely already recognized that your vehicle is one of your most prized possessions. For as much as our community has to offer to residents and visitors, the simple reality is that we need to put on the miles every single day.
While there is nothing inherently wrong with this, the fact remains that we are all taking risks when we enter our cars. The risks are even greater in Houston. According to the Houston Chronicle, Houston is the most deadly major metro area in the United States not only for drivers but for passengers and pedestrians in vehicles’ paths. The Chronicle’s study revealed that 640 people die per year on roads in the Houston metro area, while approximately 2,850 were seriously injured.
Defensive driving is always a good idea, especially on Houston roads. But even beyond this, it is helpful for Houston drivers to understand which roads in Houston are the most dangerous. With this knowledge in hand, drivers can be especially cautious as they navigate these roads and maybe a few families can avoid having to hire a wrongful death attorney.
Houston’s Most Dangerous Roads
To start, one of the most dangerous roads in the metro Houston area is Interstate 45. In 2018, Interstate 45 had the most fatalities (27 total). According to the Houston Chronicle report, many of these fatalities were due to speeding vehicles. Along with this, many of the fatalities on Interstate 45 occurred at late hours. Whether due to impatient drivers or even inebriated drivers, Interstate 45 continues to be an extremely dangerous road in our community.
In terms of fatalities, Interstate 45 is clearly the most dangerous road in Houston. Beyond Interstate 45, the next most dangerous road is Interstate 10. Interstate 10, in 2018, had 11 fatalities. Interstate 610 followed with 10 fatalities. High fatality counts on these major interstates intuitively make sense, as these roads contain drivers that aren’t following the speed limit or are distracted while driving at high speeds.
Following Interstate 610 is U.S. Route 59. U.S. Route 59 had nine fatalities in 2018. Route 59 is followed by Airline Road (six fatalities), Texas State Highway Beltway 8 (six fatalities), Telephone Road (five fatalities), and Westheimer Road (five fatalities). As you can tell by now, these interstates and roads with the most fatalities are not limited to a particular location in the Houston metro area.
While these roads and highways listed above had many of the fatalities last year, several other Houston roads and highways experienced fatalities last year. Those include Interstate 69 (four fatalities), Martin Luther King Boulevard (four fatalities), South Sam Houston Parkway (three fatalities), Almeda Road (three fatalities), Main Street (three fatalities), North Shepherd Drive (three fatalities), West TC Jester Boulevard (three fatalities), and Fondren Road (three fatalities).
Plan to Eliminate Fatal Accidents in Texas
Ultimately, the Texas Department of Transportation is developing a plan to curb traffic deaths—not just in the Houston metro area, but in the state as a whole. The department’s goal is to have zero deaths on Texas roads by 2050. While this is the overarching goal, the Texas Department of Transportation set an interim goal for 2035. The department aims to reduce fatal crashes to approximately 1,800 by that time.
These are all quite ambitious goals (perhaps even aspirational), but the Texas Department of Transportation is already taking action. These goals build on some already-existing initiatives, including driver safety awareness programs and an increased emphasis on safety in project prioritization.
But having said this, the Texas Department of Transportation and the Texas Transportation Commission are calling on drivers to be more cautious on the road. According to Texas Transportation Commissioner Laura Ryan, “While we are committed to invest in the best engineering practices to make our roads safe, we also need drivers and passengers to act more responsibly.”
Whether you are commuting to work or traveling around the Houston metro area with your family, we encourage you to stay cautious. Embrace defensive driving and try to follow the speed limits as closely as you can. In addition, be especially cautious when you’re on the roads listed in this article.
Quite obviously, there is no universal way to guarantee complete safety on the road. But by being defensive (especially on the roads mentioned above), you can avoid many unforced errors when you are driving to your destination.