Based on common sense and statistics, drivers should pay particular attention when they are at or near intersections. And based on a report by KXAN-TV, there are five intersections in Austin that are particularly troublesome. Ranked by number of crashes and severity, the city’s worst intersections are:
No. 1: West Slaughter Lane and Manchaca Road in south Austin
No. 2: North Lamar Boulevard and West Rundberg Lane in north Austin
No. 3: North Lamar Boulevard and West Parmer Lane in north Austin
No. 4: Cameron Road and U.S. 183 service road in northeast Austin
No. 5: Interstate 35 southbound service road and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, near downtown
What Makes Intersections So Dangerous?
The Texas Department of Transportation shares some statistics on crashes from 2015 that underscore the risks motorists face at intersections. Here are some cause-and-effect tabulations of crashes in urban areas:
- Drivers disregarded stop and go signals at intersections, causing 20,387 crashes, 98 of them fatal.
- Drivers disregarded stop signs or lights at intersections, causing 7,972 crashes, 29 of them fatal.
- Drivers disregarded turn marks at intersection, causing 2,148 crashes, one of them fatal.
- Drivers failed to yield at intersections, causing 6,659 crashes, 11 of them fatal.
Car Accident Data Points Are a Teaching Tool
No one who drives by a tangle of steel and flashing lights at an intersection is thinking about infrastructure and public education, but those are top issues to address in the push to save lives.
Statistics might not teach a teenager or young adult how to drive, but the grim facts of the road are enough to persuade anybody with common sense to take driving seriously. Here are some eye-opening Texas car accident statistics from the Texas Department of Transportation from 2015:
- There were 807 people killed in crashes at intersections, accounting for 23 percent of highway fatalities for the year.
- There were 3,531 traffic fatalities overall.
- There were 246,335 people injured, with 17,011 of them seriously injured.
- There were no deathless days on the roads in 2015.
- One person was killed every 149 minutes. One person was injured every 128 seconds. And there was a reportable crash every 61 seconds.
Austin’s intersections aren’t the world’s busiest or most challenging, but they also aren’t the most forgiving, either. That’s why the city has an initiative called Vision Zero that proposes reducing traffic injuries and deaths to zero by 2025. The tools are public education; engineering infrastructure solutions; evaluation of risks, with a goal of eliminating them; enforcement efforts to improve traffic safety; and implementation of policies that make Vision Zero’s goal possible.
Good Infrastructure Is One Path to Better Driving
Austin already has an engineering fix in the works that could help with intersection woes. On a public works website, Austin lists a North Lamar Boulevard and Burnet Road project affecting an area along Lamar from U.S. 183 to Howard Lane-Interstate 35 and on Urban Road 2222/Burnet from Koenig Lane to the MoPac Expressway.
TxDOT, meanwhile, is building a collector-distributor road to ease traffic at Interstate 35 and Parmer Lane. The department says the road will enable motorists on the northbound I-35 frontage road to bypass the Parmer Lane traffic signal. It also will remove a chokepoint for merging traffic through ramp reversals and realignments between Parmer and Howard. TxDOT also will widen the frontage road north of Parmer Lane.
KXAN-TV reported on Feb. 9 that TxDOT engineers have recommended speed limit changes. That could ease the crunch at intersections. Based on a study, engineers advised the Austin City Council to:
- Reduce the speed limit from 45 to 40 on North Lamar Boulevard from Morrow Street to Braker Lane.
- Reduce the speed limit to 50 mph on North Lamar Boulevard from Braker Lane to Parmer Lane.
- Reduce the speed limit from 65 to 55 mph on Parmer Lane from Interstate 30 to Harrisglenn Drive.
- Reduce the speed limit on Parmer lane from 65 to 60 mph from Harrisglenn Drive to Dessau Road.
The intersection of Lamar Boulevard and Parmer Lane is No. 3 on the list of the five most dangerous intersections in Austin, Texas.
If You’re Hurt in an Intersection Crash, Let Us Help
The Bob Richardson Law Firm has more than 30 years of experience serving Austin, Waco, and the surrounding Texas communities. Our car accident attorneys don’t just serve people injured on roads in this area, we drive these roads every day ourselves and know how important roadway safety really is.
If you need help pursuing compensation after a car accident, contact us today for a free evaluation of your case.