Safely navigating Houston’s bustling roads requires constant vigilance. Unfortunately, car crashes are all too frequent in the Bayou City.
As a driver, knowing the primary reasons for collisions can help you avoid becoming a statistic.
Let’s examine six common causes of car accidents in the area and how to drive defensively.
1. Distracted Driving
Activities like texting, eating, changing the radio – anything that takes your eyes and mind off the road for even a few seconds increases crash risk exponentially. Studies show that texting while driving makes you more than twenty times more likely to get into a crash.
Plus in Houston’s heavy traffic, a minor distraction could have catastrophic consequences. Keep both hands on the wheel and your full attention forward. If a call or text simply can’t wait, safely pull over first.
2. Speeding Above the Limits
While speed limits exist to enhance safety, many Houston drivers treat them as mere suggestions. Excess speed reduces reaction time and increases stopping distances, a dangerous mix as traffic regularly flows at or above the limit.
While going just 5 mph over may shave minutes off your trip, if an incident occurs, it’s going to cost you way more. For your safety and that of others, just drive responsibly for conditions.
3. Running Red Lights
Jumping lights seems tempting when you’re in a hurry, but it often leads to disaster. In Houston, failing to stop for red signals is a primary cause of accidents, especially T-bone collisions that can be fatal. The few seconds you save aren’t worth the serious risks – it’s always better to arrive alive. Obey the lights for your own protection and that of others.
4. Drunk or Impaired Driving
Make no mistake – driving under the influence of any substance severely impairs judgment and reaction time. In Houston, it’s illegal and puts everyone at risk unnecessarily. Leave your vehicle if drinking and arrange a safe ride or taxi instead. Your safety and freedom depend on avoiding this completely preventable offense.
5. Following Too Closely
Houston roads see heavy traffic during most daylight hours, and staying a safe distance behind the car in front of you allows time and space to stop smoothly if needed. Following too closely, however, eliminates this buffer and turns even minor braking into a possible rear-ender. Keep a two-second following gap minimum between you and the next vehicle.
6. Failure to Yield the Right-of-Way
At stop signs and traffic merging points like freeway on-ramps, drivers must yield to traffic already in the intersection or coming from the right. Blowing through without ensuring the path is clear invites disaster, frequently in the form of T-bone collisions that can easily become fatal. Always verify it’s safe before proceeding through intersections.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Houston: The Bottom Line
By recognizing the common causes of accidents and exercising caution in Houston, everyone can arrive at their destinations injury-free. Defensive driving through focus, patience, and obeying traffic laws helps protect not only yourself but fellow commuters as well. While inevitable in some cases, these six common causes of car accidents are avoidable. In the unfortunate event that you’re involved in an accident that isn’t your fault, seeking counsel from an experienced personal injury law firm like Johnson Garcia LLP can help defend your rights.