Traffic in Houston has been a concern for many years. Not only are the congested highways in the area costly and dangerous, residential streets have caused concern for some residents. In 2001 there were 189 fatal accidents in the Houston area, with 74 of them being the result of a drunk driver. These statistics are similar with the national average. However, there is a growing concern for pedestrians, as the average of pedestrian-related accidents and fatalities in Houston is alarmingly high.
Recent Statistics for the Houston Area
In 2010 there were 345 accidents that involved pedestrians and vehicles in the state of Texas. More than half of these were located in Houston. This has spurred the debate of whether the traffic situation in Houston is actually worse than that of Dallas. Most of these pedestrian-related accidents were the direct result of careless driving and could have been completely avoided had proper caution been taken.
According to a recent poll that was conducted by the Transportation for America, Houston is considered the ninth most dangerous metro area and the most dangerous in the entire state of Texas. This is very alarming for citizens who are concerned about aging parents or children. Needless to say, this creates a substantial demand for experienced car accidents attorneys in Houston, Texas.
Advances in Houston Traffic Safety
Due to the increased concern for pedestrians’ wellbeing on the streets of Houston, a new concept has been introduced, known as Complete Streets. This program is developing fully functional streets that are safe for motorists, pedestrians, cyclists, and transit riders.
The fact is that with up to 40 percent of Houstonians not being able to drive, this introduction for optimum safety of residents has become a welcome change. This has also provided hope for residents who regularly travel by foot or bike.
The Need for New Legislation
The fact remains that the roadways in Houston can still be deemed extremely dangerous, which is a problem that needs to be addressed by government agencies in order for changes to be made. Recent comparisons have deemed Texas significantly lacking for highway safety laws. Houston was the first area in the U.S. to pass the 85-mile-an-hour speed limit, putting it on the bottom tier of the safest roads.
In order for the Houston area to meet the national recommendations for highway safety, the legislature would have to pass an additional 316 new laws. This includes the law that prohibits texting while driving. This gained additional criticism when Houston officials disregarded a request from Mothers Against Drunk Driving to remedy some of the traffic issues that Houston suffers from.
The Bottom Line
It is clear to see with these statistics and concerns that as a whole Houstonians are not safe drivers. Additionally, the laws are not in place to encourage safe driving efforts. This provides the perfect storm putting anyone on the road, including pedestrians, at risk for being hurt or involved in a traffic accident that could result in a fatality. With encouragement from concerned citizens there are some actions being taken, but some still wonder if it will be enough to handle the major traffic concerns of the Houston area.
Daniel Parker writes on legal topics such as Personal Injury, Criminal Law, Intellectual Property, Tax Law and other areas.