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Where Do Most Vehicle Accidents Happen in Texas?

Posted June 21, 2023 | Personal Injury Blog

Where Do Most Vehicle Accidents Happen in Texas?

Harris County is home to the City of Houston, the most populous county in Texas, and the third most populous in the United States. So it is not surprising that it saw the highest number of accidents – 114,739 – in 2021. This figure represents over 20 percent of all Texas traffic accidents that year.

Tragically, one person died every 117 minutes on Texas roads in 2021, and there was at least one death on Texas roads every single day. Additionally, one person was injured every 2 minutes and 11 seconds. Behind each fatality and accident is a family whose lives are forever altered by their loved one’s injuries or passing away.

Let’s explore Texas vehicle accidents in more detail and find out how to seek justice if you are in this situation.

Texas Vehicle Accident Statistics

The latest figures released by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) for 2021 provide further details on the 552,590 accidents that took place that year in Texas:

  • 4,497 people died – A 15.43 percent increase since 2020
  • 19,456 people sustained serious injuries
  • 522 motorcyclists died (including operators and passengers)

Digging into these figures reveals the most dangerous places in the state to be a motorist.

Where Accidents Take Place

After Harris County, the counties with the highest number of accidents in Texas are as follows:

  • Dallas County (home to Dallas and Arlington) – 55,634
  • Bexar County (home to San Antonio) – 46,383
  • Tarrant County (home to Fort Worth) – 30,696

Given their high populations and thousands of miles of roads, these counties are bound to see the highest number of accidents. However, this does not necessarily make them the most dangerous places to drive in the state, statistically speaking.

TxDOT breaks down traffic crash rates by different highway systems, road types, and whether they occur in rural or urban areas. These statistics show that farm-to-market roads have the highest accident rates, with 116.86 accidents per 100 million vehicle miles in rural areas. In urban areas, this rate increased to 245.94.

Understanding farm-to-market roads

The term “farm-to-market roads” refers to a network of secondary roads that were first built in the 1930s to connect food producers with their markets. Today, this network consists of a variety of roadways, from two-lane roads to multi-lane roads and even freeways in some sections. 

Yet, many farm-to-market roads are still narrow and winding, following the land’s natural contours. As a result, negotiating these roads safely involves driving at lower speeds and high levels of concentration. Sadly, these conditions may also contribute to the higher rates of accidents experienced on these roads.

The most dangerous types of roads in Texas

Digging a little deeper into the statistics, we can see that the most dangerous type of roads in Texas have 4 or more lanes that are undivided. In rural areas, these roads saw 100.36 crashes per 100 million miles traveled.

In urban areas, the accident rate increased to 318.84. By contrast, the rates for roads with 4 or more divided lanes were significantly lower, suggesting that barriers make a big difference to safety.

Where Fatal Accidents Happen

The highest number of fatalities occur on US and state highways in Texas. These roads saw 1,540 fatal crashes in 2021, with 1,757 fatalities. The discrepancy accounts for the fact that in some fatal accidents, more than one person died.

Rural roads – the most deadly in Texas

Rural roads saw the highest number of fatalities in Texas in 2021, with over half of roadside deaths occurring in country areas. This is likely because rural roads have higher speed limits and lower traffic levels. These factors can encourage drivers to take more risks than they would in busier areas.

Additionally, when accidents happen, victims may be many miles from the necessary medical care facilities.

The deadliest city streets in Texas

City streets were the next most deadly type of roadway, with 921 fatalities from 863 accidents in 2021. A study conducted by Value Penguin looked at pedestrian road deaths in Texas between 2016-2020 and made some startling discoveries:

  • San Antonio is the deadliest city for pedestrians in the state, home to 4 of the 5 most deadly city streets
  • Statistically, Galveston was the deadliest municipality for pedestrians, with 3 fatalities per 10,000 people in just 4 years
  • The deadliest urban road in the state was the Houston section of the I-45, with 58 pedestrian fatalities in 4 years
  • Austin took second place, with 48 fatalities on the I-35 in the same period

In light of these tragic statistics, Texas cities are taking measures to make urban roads safer. For example, the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area has created an action plan to review pedestrian safety measures and suggest improvements. 

The most dangerous month on Texas roads

The statistics show that fatalities were quite evenly distributed across each month of the year. However, the deadliest month was August, which saw 378 fatal crashes, resulting in 418 deaths. Conversely, February saw the fewest deaths, with 243 accidents causing 271 fatalities.

The Causes of Vehicle Accidents in Texas

The reasons for vehicle accidents range from the unfortunate – collisions with animals – to the avoidable – failing to drive in a single lane. The following were the top contributing factors to crashes in 2021:

  1. Speeding
  2. Driver inattention
  3. Failing to drive in a single lane
  4. Changing lanes when unsafe
  5. Failing to stop at a stop sign

If any of these factors, or other types of reckless behavior, caused your accident, you may be able to pursue compensation for your losses. An auto accident attorney can talk you through your legal options and the chances of success in your case.

Seeking Justice After a Texas Vehicle Accident

More than 239,000 people were injured on Texas roads in 2021. Some of these injuries were life-changing, leaving victims with disabilities and conditions affecting their ability to work and enjoy life as before. Whether your injuries were relatively minor or more serious, you have the right to seek monetary compensation if another party was at fault.

The auto accident attorneys team at Fielding Law focuses on getting justice for Texas car accident victims. Our case results demonstrate our track record of achieving 6- and 7-figure payouts on behalf of many clients. 

If we take on your case, you will be kept informed of the entire legal process. We believe in giving our clients personal attention, so you will know what is happening with your case every step of the way.

The first step on the road to justice is a free case evaluation with one of our experienced car accident lawyersCall us 24/7 at (877) 880-4090 or fill out our online contact form, and we will be in touch very soon.

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Text edited by Mitchell Fielding, a personal injury lawyer and partner at Fielding Law. Mitchell is known for his hard work ethic, friendly personality and dedication to the law. You can find out personal injury law offices in Taylorsville, UT and Mesquite, TX.