The Ugliest Highway in Houston: Interstate 10

by Jun 23, 2021Car Accidents, Truck Accidents, Wrongful Death

Tommy Fibich, a Houston Personal Injury lawyer

Why I-10 Is Regularly Ranked as One of the Most Dangerous Roads in the Country

Any Texan knows that driving on Interstate 10 (I-10) can be a harrowing experience. Tragically, the stretch of interstate between Houston and Beaumont has proven not only to be dangerous but also deadly for far too many motorists.

At Fibich, Leebron, Copeland & Briggs, we represent individuals who have been seriously injured or killed in car accidents throughout Houston and the surrounding area. Our nationally recognized legal team has over 100 years of combined experience, having recovered billions on behalf of clients.

If you or a loved one has sustained injuries in a Houston car accident, contact our office at (713) 999-3681 to book a free, no-obligation consultation. 

The History of I-10

I-10 is one of three coast-to-coast interstates beginning in Santa Monica, CA, and cutting across the southern United States. It is one of the largest and heavily traveled commuter routes in the country, with sections cutting through major metropolitan areas like Phoenix, Houston, and Jacksonville, Florida.

In Texas, Interstate 10 cuts directly through the state, totaling 830 miles from West to East. It generally takes around 12 hours to get from El Paso to Beaumont in regular traffic and goes through San Antonio and Katy before hitting the Houston metroplex. 

In 2004, construction began to widen the interstate to 16 lanes in some areas and was recently expanded to 20 total lanes in 2011. Yet, despite these efforts, I-10 remains one of the ugliest and deadliest roads in Houston.

Dangerous and Deadly

I-10 regularly ranks as one of the most dangerous in the country. According to one study, I-10 was considered the 4th most dangerous highway in America, with over 1,342 total fatal accidents and 54.5 deaths per 100 miles. This heavily traveled interstate is prone to deadly accidents and those causing serious, life-threatening injuries.

Causes of serious accidents on Interstate 10:

  • Distracted driving
  • Drunk driving accidents
  • Fatigued driving
  • Speeding
  • Big rig and 18-wheeler accidents
  • Construction zones
  • Reckless driving

Determining what caused a car accident can be difficult. In many cases, you will want to consult with an experienced car accident attorney. An attorney can conduct an independent investigation to help determine the cause of the accident, who is liable, and whether to pursue a claim for damages.

Harris County Car Accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is #1 in the state for fatal car crashes. In fact, the county accounts for 10% of the total fatal car accidents in Texas. Houston highways are notoriously treacherous, including the stretch of I-10 that starts in Katy and continues to the east ending in Beaumont.

I-10 is routinely considered one of the most congested roads in Harris County and throughout Texas. Despite efforts to widen the freeway, traffic remains. Heavy congestion is a frequent cause of Houston highway accidents and can result in devastating multi-car pile-ups.

Other perilous Houston highways include:

  • I-45 (Ranked 2nd most dangerous road in the United States with Houston being listed as the deadliest city for fatal accidents on the interstate.)
  • US 59
  • IH 610
  • IH 69

I-10 Car Accident Statistics in Houston

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) releases traffic crash data for the state each year. The department uses information from reportable motor vehicle traffic accidents provided by law enforcement agencies statewide. 

According to the TxDOT, last year on I-10 in Houston, there were:

  • 3,456 total reportable crashes
  • 667 crashes involving possible injury
  • 131 alcohol-involved crashes
  • 75 speed-related crashes
  • 52 crashes involving suspected serious injuries
  • 12 fatal crashes

Despite there being less traffic on the road because of the pandemic, the area still experienced a high number of accidents involving severe injury or death. For example, earlier this month, a person was killed in a big rig accident on the eastbound lanes of I-10 near the Freeport exit. 

Dark Areas on I-10

A large percentage of fatal accidents occur on highways with insufficient lighting. I-10 ranked 2nd in the country for darkest highways, with 19.2 fatal accidents occurring per 100 miles. Additionally, Interstate 10 had 472 total fatal accidents in the dark happening over a five-year period. 

Sufficient lighting can significantly reduce the number of accidents on a highway. Research conducted by NHTSA indicates that the fatality rate for passenger vehicle occupants is nearly three times higher compared to daytime. Across the United States, almost half of all fatal car accidents (involving passenger vehicles) occur at night.

During night drivers are more likely to:

  • Drive under the influence;
  • Speed;
  • Not use restraints; and
  • Drive while drowsy or fatigued.

Drunk Driving Accidents on I-10 and in Harris County

I-10 also made headlines for being one of the top five highways in the state with the most drunk drivers. Driving under the influence causes tens of thousands of deaths on American roadways each year. 

  • I-10 had the 4th highest number of accidents involving a drunk driver.
  • There were 12.6 fatal accidents per 100 miles. 
  • Over the course of 5 years, 310 people died in alcohol-related accidents on I-10. 

Reporting by ABC News shows that Harris County leads the state in alcohol-involved crashes:

  • In a single year, 121 people were killed by drunk drivers in the county. 
  • Houston alone had 72 fatal drunk driving accidents in 2017. 
  • In most cases, alcohol-related accidents are 100% preventable.

Injured in a Car Accident? Contact Our Office!

If you are injured in a Houston car accident, contact our office to discuss your case with an experienced lawyer. At Fibich, Leebron, Copeland & Briggs, we cover all upfront costs related to your case, meaning you pay nothing unless we win. All consultations are free and without obligation to retain our services.

Let us be your champion. Our attorneys have extensive experience obtaining the maximum compensation available for car accident victims in Harris County. Remember, the insurance company is not on your side; they will try to get you to settle for far less than your case is worth. 

If you sustained injuries or have lost a loved one, call our office today at (713) 999-3681 to discuss your legal options.