Recently, a local task force was formed in response to a 2017 article in the Houston Chronicle which found that Houston is home to the nation's most dangerous roads. According to the article, more than 600 motorists, passengers, and pedestrians are killed every year in traffic collisions. The majority of these fatal accidents involved driver inattention, driving while intoxicated, and speeding. The Chronicle's investigation found that a lack of a comprehensive strategy to address the issue may be partly to blame. In response, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez called for the formation of a regional task force to better patrol roads. The task force was designed to crack down on traffic violations and unsafe driving practices, with the goal of promoting safe driving and reducing the number of serious motor vehicle accidents that occur on Houston area roads each year.
According to preliminary estimates from the National Safety Council, approximately 4.7 million people were seriously injured and 40,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2017. These estimates are only slightly lower than figures from 2016. For nearly 100 hundred years, the National Safety Council has collected fatality data every month from all 50 states and the District of Columbia as well as the National Center for Health Statistics to ensure that deaths occurring on both private and public roadways are included in their estimates. The National Safety Council also tracks fatality trends. According to National Safety Council officials, an improved economy along with distracted driving, speeding, and failing to wear a seat belt are key factors impacting motor vehicle fatality trends each year. The National Safety Council's numbers differ from the official federal figures which will be released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) later this year. Unlike the National Safety Council, NHTSA's figures do not include fatalities on private roadways such as parking lots and driveways.
Two motorcyclists were victimized in two separate hit-and-run crashes Sunday. One victim was killed, and the other, a Harris County Sheriff's Deputy, was injured. These are just the latest in a disturbing trend of hit-and-run collisions in Houston.
Seven years ago, Alexis Flores was 15 years old and a sophomore at Pharr-San Juan-Alamo High School in Pharr, Texas, participating in the student athletic trainer program and playing third base on the high school's softball team. On September 9, 2010, her supervising trainer asked her to board a two-seater golf cart with himself and another student and drove toward the football field to set up water and equipment for a junior varsity football game. He took a sharp left turn, and Flores was ejected from the cart onto her right knee, tearing her ACL and shattering her dreams of playing softball again that spring.
It's no secret that Houston roads can be hazardous. Making matters worse is the fact that Houston roads are becoming more congested as the population swells. With this increasing congestion comes an increase in crash rates. A recent report from the Houston-Galveston Area Council (HGAC) examined data regarding traffic crashes in the region over a five year period.
This was a deadly weekend on area roadways. At least four people died in vehicle-related incidents. And, recent media reports indicate that more than forty drivers were charged in March with felony dwi.
On April 30, 2012, Marcia Gray was driving on Interstate 580 in Oakland, California. A car accident in front of her vehicle caused Ms. Gray to break suddenly to avoid the wreck. As a result, a Chevrolet pickup truck struck her 1995 Mazda Protégé from behind.
Did you know that roads that are part of the Texas interstate highway system have the fewest crashes? This is the case even in congested urban areas. The highest crash rate is on farm-to-market roads, with the next highest being state highways and U.S. highways, in that order. Similarly, the safest type of road is a divided road in both urban and rural areas.
The city of Houston is by design a driving city. Traveling from one section of the city to another is near impossible without putting yourself behind the wheel of a car. One aspect of driving that should stand out is the greatly reduced cost drivers are paying at the pump. There are obvious benefits to lower gas prices, such as the affordability to drive more frequently or spend your now available money on goods and services. This in return gives a boost to the economy. However, the current gasoline price decline is not necessarily all positive.
Two Houston teens could have received up to 20 years in prison after they were convicted last week on three counts of vehicular manslaughter.