Interstate accidents are usually preventable, meaning that they are often the result of driver negligence. Common causes of interstate vehicle accidents include reckless driving, distracted driving and drunk driving, to name just a few. Drivers of all vehicle types — passenger cars, SUVs, pickup trucks, motorcycles, and tractor-trailers — are vulnerable to serious interstate accidents. At Guajardo & Marks, our interstate accident attorneys have seen the consequences of driver negligence, and we’ve represented many clients dealing with the aftermath of devastating injuries.
- I-20 – The Ronald Reagan Memorial Highway
- I-30 – The Tom Landry Freeway
- I-35W and I-35E
- I-635 – Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway, or the LBJ
How Dangerous Are Dallas Interstates?
- Four Dallas interstates had the dubious distinction of being ranked in the Daily Beast’s 100 Deadliest Highways: I-35 (#13 on the list), I-45 (#14), I-30 (#41), and I-20 (#80).
- In 2014, there were 64 interstate fatalities in Dallas County.
- Over a quarter of all vehicle accident fatalities took place on Dallas County interstates.
Why Interstate Accidents Happen
The causes of interstate accidents vary, depending on conditions like weather, time of day, level of congestion, etc. We’ve listed 5 common causes of interstate vehicle accidents in Dallas:
- Reckless Driving – Reckless driving includes many unsafe driving practices, such as speeding, improper lane shifts and failure to obey stop signs and yield signs. Speeding alone caused 90 fatalities and 188 incapacitating injuries in Dallas County in 2014.
- Drunk Driving – In 2014, there were 45 fatalities and 114 incapacitating injuries in drunk driving crashes in Dallas. 29 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities in Texas involved drunk drivers. Nighttime hours and weekends have a high number of drunk driving accidents in Texas. Many drunk driving accidents in Texas also occur during football season.
- Distracted Driving – In 2014, there were 17 fatalities and 164 incapacitating vehicle accidents due to distracted driving in Dallas County. Distracted driving includes talking/texting/emailing on a mobile phone, talking to passengers, operating a car stereo, using a navigation system, eating and grooming while driving.
- Rollovers – Rollover accidents are particularly terrifying and dangerous. Overturned vehicle accidents led to 514 fatalities and 1,798 incapacitating injuries on Texas roadways in 2014. Larger vehicles like SUVs and pickup trucks are more likely to be involved in rollover accidents because of their high center of gravity.
- Defective Vehicles – When a vehicle is equipped with defective vehicle parts, the results can be disastrous for drivers. Some common faulty vehicle parts include tires, headlights, tail lights, turn signals, brakes, airbags, seatbelts, steering mechanisms and trailer hitches. There were 66 fatalities in Texas due to slick/defective tires in 2014.
Interstate Accidents Involving Large Trucks
Nearly a third of all fatalities in large truck accidents occurred on interstates and freeways in 2013. There were 26 fatalities and 78 incapacitating injuries in large truck accidents in Dallas County in 2014. These accidents are much more dangerous for occupants of the smaller vehicles involved, due to the weight and size of large trucks and commercial motor vehicles. For example, on October 5th, 2015, a large truck collided with an SUV on the westbound I-20 ramp to I-35E, killing the occupants of the SUV, including two children. The driver of the truck was uninjured.
Road Rage in Texas
From 2007 to 2011, there were nearly 4,500 accidents involving road rage in Texas. In that same period of time, Dallas County had 329 road rage accidents. Frequent news reports highlight the regularity of road rage incidents in our state. For example, a 26-year-old woman on Interstate 30 was fatally shot on January 27, 2016, by an enraged driver.
Preventing Road Rage
The Texas Department of Insurance offers some tips to reduce driver road rage.
- Give yourself ample time to reach your destination. A driver is less likely to become enraged if they aren’t rushed.
- Never tailgate other drivers. Not only is following another vehicle closely dangerous, it can lead to flared tempers and hostile confrontations. Make sure you leave plenty of space between you and the other vehicle.
- Always signal your intentions to other drivers. When shifting lanes, use your turn signal. Cutting off another driver could lead to road rage.
- Be polite. Don’t use obscene language or hand gestures to express your anger to other drivers.
Interstate Collision Lawyers, Dallas TX
If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries in an interstate accident, Guajardo & Marks are here to help. Our interstate accident attorneys have fought to secure payment for many victims of driver negligence to cover medical bills, ongoing care, loss of income, loss of work capacity and pain and suffering. The statute of limitations in Texas for personal injury and wrongful death is two years, though it is important to act as quickly as possible since the outcome of cases is often determined by the actions taken shortly after an accident. Contact Guajardo & Marks today for a free consultation.