If you’re from the Houston area, you don’t need us to remind you how horrible the traffic can be.
Texas A&M Transportation Institute and the Texas Department of Transportation announced the results of a study they performed regarding the state’s traffic. While I-35 in Austin is deemed to be the worst, the highways in Dallas and Houston definitely make the list when it comes to traffic congestion and accident risks. To further prove that the roads are too tight, consider the fact that the number of registered vehicles in our state has jumped almost 200% in the last 40 years, while the highway space has only grown about 20%.
The chart below depicts the most congested roadways in Texas, according to the 2015 study:
How traffic volume affects the local accident rate has yet to be professionally studied. In fact, very little research has been done on the topic at all due to the difficulties caused by so many variables. A report was created by the State Highway Administration in Maryland, using information from studies on related topics, which printed this quote:
“Based on the literature review, it can be determined that traffic volume, as a surrogate variable of congestion, plays a significant role in accident frequency, rate, and severity analyses. Some significant relationships were identified including the relationship that a higher traffic volume usually results in higher accident frequency and that there is likely a U-shaped relationship between traffic volume and the accident rate. Although key factors affecting the accidents have been extensively studied, the complex relationship between congestion and accident, especially the impact of the traffic volume on accident severity, has not been sufficiently investigated. For example, the relationship between congestion and accident (rate or severity) may vary with time of day (e.g. peak or off-peak hours), and differs significantly between arterials and freeways. In addition, this relationship may also change with the roadway environment and weather conditions.”
In other words, while there has been some professional research completed on the topic there is a lot more needed in order to form a more accurate understanding. Based on data from similar studies, it is thought that traffic directly affects the accident rate – as well as the accidents affecting the traffic rate!