Most Dangerous Roads in Houston, Texas

Most Dangerous Roads in Houston, Texas

Houston witnessed a total of 331 traffic deaths and 1,620 individuals seriously injured in car accidents in 2021, as reported by Houston Vision Zero, with 4,480 people dying in crashes throughout the state that year, Houston alone accounted for over 7% of all traffic fatalities in Texas. 

Like any other major city, not every road or highway in Houston poses a high risk of auto accidents. However, some highways experience more car accidents than others. Drivers in Houston, Texas, must understand what makes these areas more dangerous and precisely where they are located. Continue reading to discover the most hazardous roads and avoid car accidents in Houston.

Factors That Can Make a Road Dangerous

Many factors can play a role in determining how dangerous a road in Houston is, from the physical characteristics of the road itself to the actions drivers take while using it. Some of the key factors that can influence the safety of Houston roads include:

High Volume of Traffic

Roads that see greater numbers of cars and trucks traveling on them also tend to see greater numbers of car accidents. Conversely, those roads that are not as heavily used tend not to see as many traffic collisions.

Presence of Intersections and Merge Points

Drivers must remember and apply right-of-way laws to successfully navigate intersections and other areas where vehicles from different directions converge. Some motorists may not remember or apply these rules correctly, which can lead to collisions that result in injury or death.

Poor Visibility and Lighting

Roads that twist and turn, or roads lined with trees and other obstructions, can make it difficult for drivers to see other cars, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Similarly, motorists may not see obstacles and hazards on poorly lit roads in time to avoid them.

Elevated Speed Limits

Speed contributes to car accidents in Houston because faster cars give drivers less time to perceive and react to road hazards, increasing collision risks. Roads and highways with higher speed limits often see more car accidents compared to those with lower limits.

Which Roads in Houston Are the Most Dangerous?

In Houston, certain roads tend to see more accidents than others. 

Based on data provided by the Texas Department of Transportation and reported in the Houston Chronicle, the following roads in Houston see some of the highest number of crashes in the entire city:

  • Airline Drive
  • Antoine Drive
  • Beechnut Road
  • Cullen Boulevard
  • Hillcroft Avenue
  • Westheimer Road

It’s not only roadways that can come with risk to Houston drivers, however. Intersections in Houston can also be dangerous.

Accidents tend to happen at the following intersections in particular:

  • Sam Houston Parkway and Westheimer Road
  • Main Street and Sam Houston Parkway
  • Main Street and South Loop
  • JFK and Aldine Bender

Even accidents that do not result in injury or death at these intersections can cause substantial property damage. Additionally, drivers approaching any of these intersections should be aware of bicyclists and pedestrians, who can sustain greater harm in a crash than a motorist.

North America’s Deadliest Highway Runs Through Houston

The stretch of Interstate 45 that runs from Dallas to Galveston was recently named North America’s most dangerous highway based on the number of traffic fatalities that occur on this highway. More specifically, it was the portion of this interstate that passes through Houston that was determined to be the most dangerous.

In 2019, 73 fatalities happened in wrecks that occurred on the portion of I-45 that goes through Houston. Houston Vision Zero reported a total of 128 driver and passenger deaths and 266 total traffic-related fatalities that same year throughout the city. This means that about 25% of all traffic-related deaths that occurred in Houston in 2019 happened on I-45.

Other High-Risk Highways in Houston, TX

Three other highways are identified as being dangerous in the city, including:

Interstate 10

This highway runs through Harris County as it connects Anthony, Texas, with the Louisiana state line. According to KHOU, over a seven-year stretch, a total of 676 people died on the portion of I-10 that runs through Houston and Harris County. That is an average of approximately 100 people per year. 

US-59

U.S. Highway 59 in Harris County recorded 318 fatal wrecks that killed a total of 390 people over the same seven-year period examined by KHOU. That amounts to slightly more than 50 traffic fatalities per year on this stretch of road.

State Highway 105

State Highway 105 travels through Montgomery County, just to the north of downtown Houston. Over the same seven-year period, a total of 91 people were killed along this highway. That is an average of more than ten deaths per year on this single road.

Driving Behaviors That Contribute To Motor Vehicle Accidents

Dangerous roads and highways may have design features that make it easier to get involved in a crash. However, the decisions that drivers make on these roads can also play a role in why accidents happen. 

For example, the following driving behaviors can lead to an increased risk of a crash:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Driving while sleepy 
  • Using your cell phone to read or send emails or text messages while driving
  • Speeding 
  • Disobeying other traffic safety laws, such as right-of-way laws

Even if you are driving responsibly and carefully, it’s vital that you stay alert for what other motorists — as well as motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians —- are doing to remain safe.

Navigating Houston Roads Safely

Houston is home to several highways and roads that, unfortunately, see a number of fatal and non-fatal crashes each year. While road design characteristics can play a role in these numbers, there are still steps you can take to protect yourself and your family on the road.

Staying alert to your surroundings, following safe driving practices, and abiding by traffic laws can go a long way in helping you navigate this city successfully.

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