Houston Accident Statistics

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Editor’s Note: This content has been reviewed by an expert personal injury attorney to reflect up-to-date information. Our attorneys have 20-plus years of experience defending the rights of car accident victims across the state of Texas and beyond. 

Each year, the Texas A&M Transportation Institute ranks the 100 most congested roadways in Texas. According to their 2023 study, the Houston metro area is home to six of the top 10 most congested roads in the state. Those roads are in order from most congested:

  • W Loop FWY/IH 610
  • Eastex FWY/IH 610/US 59
  • Southwest FWY/IH 69/US 59
  • N Loop W FWY/IH 610
  • Katy FWY/IH 10/US 90
  • Gulf FWY/IH 45

The Texas A&M Transportation Institute observes that growth-induced traffic gridlock gets worse every year. Houston’s congested roadways create the perfect opportunity for serious car accidents. 

Even more concerning, this trend affects not only Harris County but also the Lone Star state as a whole. 


The Rising Rate of Distracted Driving Crashes in Houston and Throughout Texas

Distracted driving was one of the most significant contributing factors for accidents on Texas highways in 2023. Nearly 400 people were killed, and another 2,793 were gravely injured in a distracted driving crash in Texas last year. Drivers occupied by their cell phones are one the most common contributing factors in these crashes. Cruising down the highway at 70 MPH while preoccupied by a text message is a recipe for a severe accident. 


Accidents Caused By Drunk Driving

Making the decision to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking alcohol is a severe crime. Per a 2022 study, Harris County leads the state in drunk driving accidents. The greater Houston area saw 3,553 alcohol-related accidents in that span. That’s a crash rate of 7.43 DWI crashes per every 10,000 residents. Of those 3,500 plus accidents, 160 people lost their lives. 

In Texas, an individual is legally intoxicated with a 0.08 percent Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level. An individual may be arrested and charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) if they meet or exceed the limit. Any driver under 21 who indicates a BAC above 0.00 percent can be issued a ticket. Any amount of alcohol consumption can impact your driving ability. Starting with one drink can cause your BAC to go up to 0.02 percent. Here are some common ways alcohol impairs your driving ability:

  • Reduced concentration
  • Blurred vision
  • Lack of coordination
  • Delayed reaction time

Drinking and driving can result in some heavy consequences. The first offense starts with a fine of up to $2,000, at least three days in jail, and loss of your driver’s license for up to a year. The punishment gets worse after each offense. Whether you are the driver or the passenger, you can be fined up to $500 for having an open alcohol container in a vehicle.

In addition, others can be held liable for drunk driving car accidents. Under Texas statute, a bartender or another person who serves, sells, or provides alcohol to a person when it is apparent that the person is intoxicated to the extent that the person presents a clear danger to themselves and others and the intoxication of the person was the proximate cause of the damages caused. The bartender or other person providing, serving, or selling the alcohol may be held liable. In Texas, however, the bartender may be shielded from liability under safe harbor laws if:

The employee is required to attend a commission-approved seller training program;

The employee attended the training program; and

The employer did not directly or indirectly encourage the employee to violate laws related to the selling and serving of alcoholic beverages.

If your accident involved a minor driving under the influence, the person who provided the minor with alcohol may also be liable for your injuries. Under Texas statute, an adult can be held liable for an accident caused by a minor if the adult was not the minor’s legal guardian, parent, or spouse and the adult knowingly provided or served the minor alcohol that contributed to the minor’s intoxication, or allowed the minor to be served or provided alcohol that contributed to the minor’s intoxication on the premise owned or leased by the adult.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, someone dies from an alcohol-related crash every 51 minutes. The best way to stay safe and to prevent drunk driving crashes is don’t drink and drive. If you are going out and plan to drink, get a designated driver or use a rideshare service to get home safely. At Sutliff & Stout, we have defended plenty of clients against drunk driving accidents. We know how traumatic it can be for an individual to be injured or the family to lose a loved one due to the negligence of drinking and driving. Each major holiday we offer our No DWI Free Holiday Rides, where we reimburse you for your Uber or Lyft ride. Holidays are a time to celebrate; however, incidents usually increase during holiday weekends. As Houston car accident attorneys, we know the importance of keeping the communities we serve safer.

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