Houston’s Interstate 45 Has a Killer Reputation

Interstate 45 is just under 285 miles long and connects Galveston to Dallas. It has always been known for two unique things: it is the shortest of all the Interstates and the only Interstate Highway to be completely contained within a single state—making it the only intrastate interstate highway.  But the part around Houston is known for something else—fatal car accidents.

Rash of Fatal Accidents on I-45

Every couple of weeks, someone dies on I-45 in Houston. A driver was killed in Southeast Houston and three more people were hospitalized following a crash in the northbound lanes of I-45 near Howard around midnight on August 8, 2020. The driver was charged with intoxication manslaughter in relation to the crash. Seven days prior on August 1st, 2020, a driver was charged with intoxication manslaughter after his car flew off the freeway while trying to exit from I-45 to 288 resulting in the death of his passenger. A few weeks prior, on July 7, 2020, a Nissan with a flat in the left-hand lane of I-45 near Hardy Toll Road was rear-ended by a red mustang resulting in the death of 2 children.

Most Dangerous Road in the United States

The above examples of car accident fatalities are just the tip of the iceberg for I-45.  Fatalities have plagued I-45 in Houston for years.  So much so that Popular Mechanics recently rated I-45 in Houston as the Most Dangerous Road in the United States.   According to the article, we have 56.5 deaths annually for every 100 miles of roadway on I-45 in the Houston area.  That is roughly one fatality every seven days.

What are the Most Commons Causes of Fatalities in Houston Auto Wrecks?

Popular Mechanics cites texting and driving, drinking and driving, and driving at excessive speeds as the three most common causes of fatal accidents on I-45.  While speeding and failure to control speed are contributing factors across many accidents, over 3600 people die from drinking and driving on Texas roadways every year. About 400 deaths are caused by driver distractions such as cell phone use in Texas annually.

Fixing the I-45 Issue Could Make a Difference

The interesting thing to note is that despite having the #1 most dangerous roadway, Houston ranks 15th for traffic fatalities per capita. Houston also ranks first in population size. Thus, we have more people but fewer accidents per capita than every other major city in Texas and then some. This makes you wonder how much safer our city could be if we could just reduce the number of accidents on I-45.  Let’s hope the ongoing and upcoming construction can ultimately provide a solution.  However, that assumes that the construction will someday finally come to an end. Until then, call us if you need Houston personal injury lawyer after an accident that is not your fault.