Interstate 45 is one of the longest highways in Texas, spanning about 285 miles from Dallas to Galveston and passing through major cities like Houston. Because of this, it has some of the highest traffic rates, with certain stretches seeing upwards of 275,000 vehicles per day. However, this also means that it can be a breeding ground for serious motor vehicle crashes.
For over a decade, I-45 has been nicknamed the "deadliest highway in Texas", as well as the most dangerous highway in the United States, due to the high volume of driver fatalities. According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), 56.5 fatal accidents occur for every 100 miles on this highway. This is the highest rate for any Texas highway, and it is almost double the figure for other major highways in the state.
There are many factors that contribute to the high rate of fatal accidents on I-45 in Texas. One reason is the sheer number of vehicles on the road during rush hour. With so many cars, it can be difficult for drivers to navigate and maintain a safe speed, leading to more erratic driving patterns and an increased risk of an accident occurring.
Speeding is also one of the top contributing factors, which is no surprise considering Texas already has one of the higher highway speed limits in the country. Drivers often exceed the speed limit and cannot control their vehicles when an emergency situation arises. Additionally, distracted driving is a major issue, as drivers can become easily distracted by cell phones or other devices while attempting to navigate the congested highway.
Aside from driver errors, parts of I-45 have been under construction for several years and more is to come. TxDOT recently announced a highway expansion project on I-45N through Houston, which can lead to increased congestion while in the process due to lanes being shut down in favor of construction crews.
What Drivers Can Do to Keep Themselves Safe
It is important for drivers to be aware of the risks associated with navigating I-45, and there are many things that can be done to stay safe on this highway. First and foremost, always obey the speed limit. Speeding puts you at an increased risk of losing control of your vehicle and getting into a serious accident.
Additionally, pay extra attention while driving through construction zones as they require slower speeds due to workers being present, reduced lanes, or other traffic hazards. Distracted driving is also a major issue on I-45. Drivers should turn off their phones or put them away while driving to remain focused on the road ahead. Lastly, while it is not always possible to avoid rush hour traffic, finding alternative routes can be extremely beneficial for your safety.
What You Can Do If a Crash Occurs
Despite taking precautions, car accidents can still occur. If you find yourself involved in a crash on I-45, take the following steps:
- Check for injuries on yourself and any passengers and call 911 if necessary.
- Move your vehicle out of traffic to avoid further collisions.
- Collect information such as names and contact information from other drivers involved, as well as license plate numbers and insurance information.
- Take pictures and videos of the scene for evidence if safe to do so.
- Contact a personal injury lawyer to determine the next steps.
Car Accident Attorneys in Houston
The attorneys at Potts Law Firm are here to help you receive the compensation you deserve. Our team of experienced car accident lawyers in Houston can assess your case and fight to protect your rights. Call us today at (888) 420-1299 or contact us online for a free consultation.