Texas Intersection Accident Attorney

Dangerous Intersections

In November 2016, the Texas Department of Transportation issued a warning for holiday shoppers in Beaumont: Be careful as you drive near Parkdale Mall. Although the intersection of Eastex Freeway and Dowlen Road was redesigned years ago, a TxDOT spokeswoman said drivers were still mistakenly turning left from the far right lane of Eastex Freeway. The TxDOT added signs to help clear up the confusion

When drivers don’t understand traffic patterns, signs, or signals, they may be at greater risk of a crash. In 2011, researchers at the University of Texas at Austin released results of a study that said the presence of flashing traffic signals at an intersection increased crash risk by nearly threefold.

The professor who led the study said drivers may be unsure how to respond to flashing signals, and that those signals are often installed on high-speed roads with already-dangerous intersections. The study also found that intersection crash risk was significantly higher when intersecting roads had approximately the same volume of traffic.

Using better signage and signals, and reconfiguring intersections, could reduce the number of crashes. Roundabouts, which are designed to prevent head-on and T-bone collisions, are proven to reduce crashes that cause injury and death. According to the FHWA, roundabouts reduce such crashes by 78 to 82 percent.

North Texas Hot Spots

According to the Austin Police Department, between Aug. 1, 2011 and Aug. 1, 2012, 36 crashes occurred at the intersection of Parmer Lane and North Lamar Boulevard. That intersection regularly makes annual lists of the most dangerous intersections in the city. It held the second-place spot on a list released in 2016 that was based on several years of crash data;  the intersection of East Riverside Drive and South Pleasant Valley Road took the top spot.

Other dangerous intersections in North Texas are:

  • Interstate 635 and Skillman Street, in Dallas
    – The intersection of Skillman Street and I-635 (the Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway) has been the site of 132 crashes and 107 crash-related injuries in the past year. This intersection is at the heart of a busy, confusing tangle of roads surrounded by commercial establishments, where vehicles may be entering or exiting the roadways.
  • Henderson Street and Weatherford Street, in Fort Worth
    – 119 crashes and 105 crash-related injuries occurred in the past three years at the junction of these two four-lane roads. Confusion may contribute to crashes here, as Weatherford is a one-way street, and Henderson has two left-turn lanes.

TxDOT has a long list of intersections that have high crash rates. Many of those are intersections of heavily traveled roads with high speed limits. Traffic congestion can contribute to aggressive driving – for example, speeding through an intersection when a traffic signal is yellow. So the TxDOT is looking at ways to improve traffic flow patterns in the state’s most accident-prone intersections.

Roadway Improvements

In September 2016, officials held a ground-breaking for Austin’s first major roundabout, at the intersection of Interstate 35 and 51st Street. In February 2018, the roundabout – while not complete – opened with one travel lane. TxDOT said the roundabout was working as intended, easing traffic congestion.

That project is part of a major overhaul of the I-35 corridor, called “Mobility35,” intended to enhance safety, improve mobility, and update ramps. At I-35 and Oltorf Street, where several fatal crashes have occurred, TxDOT reconstructed the bridge and is improving frontage road ingress and egress, updating highway ramps, and adding protections for pedestrians and bicyclists. Construction is expected to be complete in early 2019.

TxDOT has proposed numerous projects for Mobility35 in Travis County, Hays County, and Williamson County. In addition to converting some intersections to roundabouts, TxDOT wants to update some intersections to have “continuous flow” traffic patterns, in which left-turn lanes are isolated from other lanes, with their own traffic signals, so motorists are never turning left in front of oncoming cars. Unfortunately, the TxDOT does not have the funding it needs to proceed with the majority of its plans.

Help for Injured Motorists

If you’ve been injured in an intersection crash, you need an experienced personal injury attorney on your side. The Evans Law Firm has helped injury victims and their families throughout Texas get the compensation they deserve. Request your free, no-obligation consultation by filling out our online form or by calling us at 1-855-414-1012.