In July 2017, a study was released on the deadliest highway in Texas, based on multiple factors, including fatality frequency and the type of highway. The findings were, to those familiar with Texas roads, not all that surprising; many of the most dangerous roads could be found in small-to-middling towns – the deadliest highway in the state according to the study was IH 69, specifically the stretch at mile point 170, in Edinburg, TX – but what was noteworthy to many was the concentration of deadly stretches of highway found in the San Antonio-to-Austin corridor. Almost 30 percent of the roads cited in the study can be found in one or both cities. While the odds of an accident are still comparatively low overall, it is worth noting that if you are a frequent driver on any of these roads, you may wish to be more careful.
Why Such High Body Counts?
If one looks at the demographics and makeup of both San Antonio and Austin, one can see similarities, at least in terms of traffic patterns. Both metro areas have a high fatality rate spread fairly evenly throughout the city limits (as opposed to occurring in isolated areas), as San Antonio has ten deadly stretches of highway and Austin has seven. Both metro areas are also noticeably congested – in studies of the busiest U.S. cities, San Antonio and Austin both showed similar congestion levels and amount of rush hours. It is plausible to draw the inference that cities laid out in the same way as these two, congestion almost certainly contributes to impatient and reckless driving, which boosts fatality counts.
What does this mean for the average driver? In theory, nothing, but the cautious driver may do well to keep in mind the increased prevalence of accidents and deaths while driving on certain stretches of highway in and between San Antonio and Austin. Whether from road rage, inattention or some other reason, a lapse in attention on these highways carries a higher risk than it would in other areas – the study data found that approximately 12 percent of all Texas traffic fatalities occurred on just over one-half of 1 percent of all Texas highways. The increased risk of harm is real.
If You Are Injured
If you have been in an accident in San Antonio or Austin, especially on these specific roadways, it should be handled in the same way as anyone would handle a car accident – document everything, minister to any injured in the crash, and exchange insurers if applicable. However, it is a good idea to keep in mind that since these highways are routinely congested and dangerous, it may be alleged that you contributed enough to the accident to preclude any recovery. While Texas does have a comparative fault system, which will usually assign at least some fault to each party, there are certain red flags that can arise if you admit to breaking any law or acting in a manner inconsistent with the rules of the road.
In some cases, it may be that you will be able to bring suit not only against the driver of the other car but also against the municipality or entity that maintains the road. A small percentage of accidents on interstates are caused or exacerbated by poor road maintenance, which is actionable if it can be proven that your injuries were directly caused by the poor condition of the road.
Contact an Auto Accident Lawyer
Automobile accidents are too common, especially in Texas, which made up 10 percent of all traffic fatalities in the nation in the most recently available data. If you exercise due care driving, especially on these deadly stretches of highway, you can lower your risk of being in a crash, but if one happens anyway, enlisting a dedicated New Braunfels car accident attorney is critically important. The Bettersworth Law Firm is well versed in handling these cases, and we will do our best to handle yours. Call the office today to set up an initial consultation.