Worst Car Crashes in Texas History

worst car crashesCar accidents are a tragic reality everywhere, and Texas, with its vast roadways and bustling cities, has seen its share of devastating accidents. From multi-vehicle pileups on crowded highways to single-vehicle crashes in rural areas, the consequences of these accidents can be catastrophic. Below, the Pearland car accident lawyers at J.D. Silva & Associates, PLLC will explore some of the worst car crashes in Texas history, examine the factors contributing to these accidents, and discuss the legal implications for victims and their families.

The Worst Texas Car Accidents

According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), there was a reportable car accident in the state every 57 seconds in the most recent reporting year. In these collisions, one person was injured nearly every two minutes, and one person was killed almost every two hours. Some of the worst car crashes in the state’s history include the following:

The Austin Airport Pileup (2024)

In February 2024, a deadly four-car pileup occurred near the Austin airport at the intersection of FM 812 Road and South FM 973 Road. Two of the people involved were pinned under cars and needed to be airlifted by an emergency rescue helicopter to the local hospital. Of the five individuals involved in the Texas car accident, only one survived and suffered severe car accident injuries.

The Cleburne Head-On Crash (2023)

In December 2023, a pickup truck collided head-on with a minivan in Cleburne. The 17-year-old pickup truck driver crossed the highway’s northbound lanes despite being in a no-passing zone.

The accident killed the minivan driver and five passengers and critically injured three others.

The I-20E Dallas Pileup (2022)

In July 2022, a pileup, including eight cars and one 18-wheeler, occurred along the eastbound lanes of I-20E in southern Dallas. The crash occurred shortly before rush hour and caused a traffic backup for miles, with only one lane passable for hours due to spilled oil and damaged vehicles. One individual was transported to the hospital with injuries.

The Texas Winter Storm Pileups (2022)

In February 2022, the dangerous winter ice storm that caused even the DFW Airport to shut down led to two major pileups on Texas highways. A 10-car pileup occurred on the Westpark Toll Road outside of Houston, and lanes were closed until the following day. That same evening, a 14-car pileup occurred on I-35 near Austin, leading to Governor Abbott warning residents to stay off the roads.

The I-35 Fort Worth Pileup (2021)

In February 2021, a massive pileup involving over 130 vehicles occurred on I-35W in Fort Worth during icy road conditions. The wreckage stretched for over a mile, and emergency responders faced significant challenges in rescuing trapped motorists and providing medical assistance. Ultimately, six people were killed and 36 others were treated at the hospital for injuries.

The West Texas Church Bus Crash (2017)

In March 2017, a church bus carrying senior citizens collided with a pickup truck near Concan, resulting in 13 fatalities and several injuries. The investigation into the accident revealed that the pickup truck driver had crossed the center line and collided head-on with the bus.

The driver was found to be under the influence of drugs, highlighting the dangers of driving under the influence and its devastating consequences.

Factors Contributing to Texas Car Crashes

distracted drivingTexas car accidents can occur due to a variety of factors. Many of these factors are common across the United States but can be exacerbated by the state’s unique characteristics, including its long stretches of highways and rural roads, urban sprawl, high speed limits, and weather variability. Factors that commonly contribute to car crashes in Texas include the following:

  • Distracted driving: Distracted driving is a significant cause of car accidents in Texas. This includes texting, talking on the phone, eating, adjusting the radio, or interacting with passengers while driving.
  • Speeding: Speeding is the leading cause of Texas car accidents. Drivers who exceed the speed limit or drive too fast for road conditions are at a higher risk of losing control of their vehicles and causing collisions.
  • Impaired driving: Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a significant contributor to car crashes in Texas. Despite strict laws and enforcement efforts, impaired driving causes the deaths of three people per day.
  • Aggressive driving: Aggressive driving behaviors, such as tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, and disregarding traffic signals, contribute to many car accidents in Texas. Road rage incidents can escalate quickly and also lead to dangerous situations.
  • Weather conditions: Texas is prone to various weather conditions, including heavy rain, fog, ice, and extreme heat. Inclement weather can reduce visibility, create slippery road surfaces, and increase the likelihood of accidents, particularly when drivers fail to adjust their driving behavior accordingly.
  • Road conditions: Poorly maintained roads, potholes, uneven pavement, and construction zones can contribute to Texas motor vehicle collisions. Inadequate signage or road markings can confuse drivers and increase the risk of collisions.
  • Driver fatigue: Fatigued driving is a significant concern on Texas roads, especially on long stretches of highway where drivers may be traveling for extended periods. Fatigue can impair a driver’s judgment, reaction time, and ability to stay focused on the road, increasing the risk of auto accidents.
  • Inexperienced or inattentive drivers: Inexperienced drivers, including teenagers and newly licensed drivers, may lack the skills and judgment to navigate Texas roads safely. Inattentive drivers who fail to observe traffic laws, signals, or other vehicles on the road also contribute to car crashes.
  • Vehicle defects: Mechanical failures or defects in vehicles, such as faulty brakes, tire blowouts, or steering malfunctions, can lead to roadway accidents in Texas. Poorly maintained cars or failing to address known defects can increase the risk of mechanical failures while driving.

Legal Implications for Texas Car Accident Victims

legal implicationsThese tragic car crashes in Lone Star State’s history serve as sobering reminders of the importance of road safety and responsible driving. They underscore the need for motorists to exercise caution, adhere to traffic laws, and avoid reckless behavior behind the wheel. Additionally, they highlight the role of government agencies and law enforcement in implementing measures to prevent accidents and protect public safety.

For victims and their families, car accidents can result in devastating physical, emotional, and financial consequences. From medical bills and rehabilitation costs to lost wages and pain and suffering, the aftermath of a car crash can be overwhelming and costly. In such cases, it is crucial for victims and their families to seek legal representation from an experienced car accident attorney to pursue compensation for their losses and hold negligent parties accountable.

Who To Call If You Are in A Texas Car Crash

The worst car accidents in Texas history remind us of the road’s dangers and the devastating consequences of careless or reckless driving. From icy road conditions to distracted driving, these accidents have left a lasting impact on the communities affected. These crashes should remind us that road safety and accident prevention are critical in reducing the number of motor vehicle accidents in Texas.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, contact the Pearland car accident attorneys at J.D. Silva & Associates, PLLC as soon as possible. Our personal injury lawyers can help you understand your rights, navigate the legal process, and pursue the compensation you deserve.