Commuters that travel from anywhere between Laredo to the southern border are often familiar with Interstate 35, highlighted as the most convenient way to move north and south across the Lone Star state. But while I-35 may offer a direct route for many, it also provides drivers with one of the most dangerous automotive arenas in the United States, due to the perfect combination of negative factors that complete the treachery. This set of attributes has contributed to head on crashes, truck accidents, and other catastrophes, once again raising questions on what makes it so calamitous, and what can be done to put an end to the trouble.
A Dangerous Place to Drive
Texas, one of the most expansive and populous states in the United States, is also home to some of the most dangerous stretches of road for motorists and pedestrians alike. According to statistics posted by the Texas Department of Transportation, there were 3,399 traffic fatalities in 2012, as well as 63,610 crashes resulting in serious injury.
Beyond this though, the Texas DOT also published numbers that highlight the instances and prevalence of both fatal and non-fatal accidents across the state. And while many counties are rife with accidents involving serious injury and death, Hays, Travis, and McLennan Counties emerge forth as three of the most deadly locations for motorists on the road. This is no coincidence either – these three counties happen to stand as major entry and exit points on I-35, a corridor that never promises a safe journey.
What Makes I-35 So Dangerous?
Though Interstate 35 is one of the most treacherous stretches of road to drive in Texas, it isn’t simply due to the high saturation of aggressive drivers and other reckless motorists. Instead, this highway has become such a deathtrap due to the combination of a variety of aspects that only add to the congestion and overall prevalence of motor vehicle accidents.
One of the largest contributing factors to this characteristic is the existence of the North American Free Trade Agreement, also known as NAFTA, a piece of signed legislature that eliminated trade tariffs on most goods going to and from Mexico, in hopes of increasing the economic cooperation between both countries, as well as establishing a solid relationship as geographical neighbors. But while this agreement has helped strengthen ties between the United States and Mexico, it has also led to extreme overuse of certain sections of Interstate 35 in Texas. Because this highway enters the US from the Mexican border, virtually all goods entering and exiting the country must pass along here, almost all of which travel in dangerous 18-wheeler trucks that are prone to accidents on the road. The more semi trucks pass along here, the greater the prevalence of accidents will be, as operators tend to eschew traffic and impaired driving rules in hopes of securing a larger payout at the end of a trip. This notion is further solidified by a set of data showing that tractor trailers have one of the highest instances of accidents across the state of Texas. In fact, other data shows that Commercial Motor Vehicles, those carrying some type of goods, were involved in 26,403 accidents in Texas in the year 2012 alone.
Additionally, while rampant congestion exists due to commercial vehicles taking advantage of NAFTA, I-35 can also be labeled as a dangerous stretch of highway because of the large amount of construction projects erupting continuously, causing further congestion in certain areas, as well as the higher possibility of motor vehicle accidents. The Texas Department of Transportation has created an interactive map that gives the user the ability to view the traffic conditions on major roads throughout the state. And though much of the rural stretches are free of any current roadwork, as of late 2013 there are heavy construction projects in areas surrounding Laredo, San Antonio, Austin, and Fort Worth, all locales that are home to some of the highest amounts of traffic injuries and fatalities in Texas.
Navigating I-35 with Care
Ultimately, with the leniency given to those controlling commercial vehicles, the wide stretches of construction projects running from north to south across the state, and the high levels of passionate drivers cruising about the road, it is not uncommon to know someone who is involved in an accident on I-35, or even find yourself in a crash yourself. But though this may be unfortunate, securing the services of an experienced Texas auto accident attorney can help ensure your rights are protected during the aftermath of this ordeal, and that you walk away from the accident with your head held high and the damages you deserve. Call Tate Law Offices today at 888-662-3892 to receive a free consultation for your injuries.