We all have dealt with traffic in San Antonio and throughout Texas, and we all know that the number of accidents is too high. Well, according to new data from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), if you think there are a lot of car crashes, you’re right. There were more than 50,000 crashes in 2017, which comes to 140 crashes every single day, or one about every ten minutes, on average.
Of course, we know all about averages. The accidents don’t actually occur every ten minutes. In fact, if San Antonio goes an hour without an accident, that means we may get one every five minutes in the next hour.
Where Do These Accidents Occur?
Likewise, accidents don’t occur randomly throughout the city; there are some parts of the city and throughout Bexar County that are far more dangerous to drivers than others. As one might expect, high-speed and highly congested roads see a much higher rate of accidents than other parts of the city. In particular, Loop 410, Loop 1604 and Interstate 35 are among the most accident-prone roads in the city.
These were the 15 most dangerous spots in Bexar County for traffic in 2017, followed by the number of accidents that occurred at each one:
- Loop 1604 at Interstate 10 – 216 accidents
- Northwest Loop 410 at Interstate 10 – 124 accidents
- U.S. 281 at Interstate 35 – 108 accidents
- West Loop 1604 North at Highway 16 – 92 accidents
- Northeast Loop 410 at Interstate 35 – 90 accidents
- North Loop 1604 East at Interstate 35 – 82 accidents
- Alamo Ranch Parkway at Westwood Loop – 79 accidents
- Northeast Loop 410 at Walzem Road – 62 accidents
- (tie) Northeast Loop 410 at Wurzbach Road and Northwest Loop 410 at San Pedro Avenue – 61 accidents each
- Highway 151 at West Military Drive – 56 accidents
- West Loop 1604 North at Culebra Road – 54 accidents
- Northeast Loop 410 at Highway 151 – 52 accidents
- (tie) Northeast Loop 410 at Rittiman Road and Northeast Loop 410 at Culebra Road – 51 accidents
TxDOT notes that the number of accidents in Bexar County had risen steadily from 2010, when there were 33,800 accidents county-wide, until 2016, when that number topped 52,000. The numbers dipped slightly in 2017, due in part to heavier traffic enforcement as well as construction projects designed to make the roads safer.
However, officials warn that the overall trend is expected to continue upward, not just with regard to the number of crashes, but also with regard to serious injuries and fatalities. This is because the causes of traffic accidents are not expected to change anytime soon. The number one cause of Bexar County crashes continues to be distracted driving, but that cause is followed closely by speeding and tailgating, in second and third place, respectively.
When Do Crashes Occur Most Often and Who Causes Them?
The most likely time of day or night for a crash in Bexar County is during the evening rush hour, from 4-7 p.m., followed closely by the morning rush hour, from 7-10 a.m. The highest number of collisions occur on Thursdays during the 5 p.m. hour. March is the month that sees the most collisions, whereas June and July are the safest months. Not surprisingly, the most dangerous day of 2017 for traffic accidents was Dec. 7, which was the one day it snowed in the county.
Unfortunately, those most likely to be involved in a crash are young adults between 18 and 34 years of age, by a wide margin. That demographic accounts for 45 percent of all accidents in Bexar County. Drivers age 35-44 accounted for another 18 percent. Perhaps surprisingly, those drivers under 18 and over 65 combined accounted for only 10 percent of all crashes.
While four-door sedans are involved in most accidents, it could be because they are the most common vehicle on the road. Following them are SUVs, pickup trucks and sub-compact cars, in that order. Large commercial truck accidents accounted for four percent of all crashes. Emergency services vehicles were involved in more than 300 crashes last year, while 600 buses, including 86 school buses, were involved in more than 300 crashes.
We all owe it to ourselves to do everything we can to avoid accidents, regardless of what we drive and where we drive it. The top three causes of accidents are distracted driving, speeding and tailgating, all of which are 100 percent preventable. We should all drive carefully and watch out for our fellow roadsters. We should try to make San Antonio and Bexar County roads the safest in Texas and perhaps the country.