Driving in Houston is unavoidable as we are one of the largest commuter cities in the country. Car crashes happen on a daily basis, however, leaving victims to deal with severe injuries, emotional distress, and property damage. Most of these car accidents are completely preventable if drivers had simply paid attention to the road and taken the time to drive safely. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, in Harris County last year there were more than 113,000 car accidents reported. Sadly, 395 people died and more than 33,000 were injured as a result of those accidents. What are the main causes of these accidents, and can they be prevented?
By understand the trends and learning the dangers that Houston drivers face on our roads and highways every day, you could be able to avoid a serious injury crash. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) reports show that the most common car accident causes are:
- Failure to Control Speed – When drivers fail to control their speed, they endanger the lives of other drivers and pedestrians. Speeding reduces the amount of time a driver has to slow down before hitting a vehicle in front of them. Driving too slowly can cause traffic to build around a vehicle, which increases the likelihood of a crash.
- Driver Inattention – Distracted driving is on the rise in Houston as more drivers are paying attention to their cell phones than the road ahead. Taking your eyes off the road for even five seconds can reduce the time a driver has to react to changes in the road ahead.
- Changed Lanes When Unsafe – Drivers who change lanes without looking to see what cars are in their blind-spots put other Houstonians in danger. They can easily attempt to change lanes, causing the car next to them to have to react quickly or be hit.
- Failure to Drive in a Single Lane – Houstonians may be used to seeing cars weaving in and out of lanes on the highways, but no matter how common this behavior is, it is still one of the top causes of car accidents in the state. Staying in your lane and driving predictably will help prevent accidents on the busy Houston highways.
- Failure to Yield When Turning – Some drivers fail to yield the right of way when turning into intersections. Vehicles in the middle of an intersection when they should not be can easily cause an accident.
- Failure to Yield at a Stop Sign – Drivers who run stop signs can cause catastrophic car accidents, as they have not slowed down to give the right of way to a vehicle in the intersection and may hit that vehicle at full speed. The higher the speed at which vehicles collide, the more severe the victims’ injuries will be.
- Followed Too Closely – Tailgating is a commonly seen driving behavior in Houston, often accompanied by road rage, and it endangers all drivers in the vicinity of the tailgater. Driving too closely to the vehicle in front of you reduces the amount of time you have to brake if the car in front of you stops suddenly.
- Unsafe Speed – Driving at speeds significantly above the speed limit puts all vehicles around you at risk. Speed limits are established to maintain the safety of all drivers on Houston roads.
- Faulty Evasive Action – Evasive action is necessary to avoid being in a car accident; and, some drivers do their best to react quickly, moving their vehicle out of the way of danger. Some, however, are not able to relocate themselves or their car in time and get into a crash when trying to avoid one.
- Disregarded Traffic Signal – We have all seen cars run red lights or become impatient while waiting for a light to turn green and going through the intersection. This behavior is extremely dangerous and causes thousands of accidents each year in Houston.
Houston Car Accident Attorneys
Houston is a major metropolitan city that sprawls for miles and miles. To avoid driving in Houston is almost the equivalent of avoiding life all together. Reckless drivers who endanger the lives of others should be held accountable for the damages their actions cause. If you or a loved one was seriously injured or killed by a negligent driver, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact us today for a free consultation.