Your Guide to Houston’s Crash Hotspots

Texas Watchdog crunched 2009 car-crash data from TXDOT to find the parts of town where wrecks were concentrated. The heatmap above resulted from plotting location information from almost 100,000 Harris County incidents, most of which included exact coordinates. The winners? Two separate sections of Downtown and the intersection of FM 1960 and Hwy. 59 north, near Deerbrook Mall. (One of those Downtown hotspots, centered on Metro’s Main St. headquarters, includes the Pierce Elevated.) Also noteworthy spots for wreckage buffs: 2 sections of the Southwest Freeway — one at the West Loop and the other at Hillcroft.

Downtown also topped Texas Watchdog’s separate breakdowns for accidents involving road rage and collisions involving cellphones. But second- and third-place winners in these categories produced more local champions: Westheimer at Hillcroft, the Galleria area, and 59 at Kirby all ranked highly as sites for road-rage incidents. For cellphone-related accidents, the top areas were Montrose, an area just south of the Galleria and southwest of the 610-59 interchange; and the route from the Johnson Space Center to I-45. The northeastern corner of the 610 Loop at Liberty Rd. won the fatality division outright.

Map showing wreck concentrations: Jennifer Peebles/Texas Watchdog

16 Comment

  • I’m kind of surprised the West Alabama contra-flow didn’t register on this list. I had to quit taking West Alabama due to the number of near-miss head on collisions with knuckleheads who couldn’t figure out the contra-flow lanes and causing my road rage to become extreme. I was getting carpal tunnel syndrome from flipping people off.

  • Driving West Alabama is like being in Alabama.


  • Going north on 610 toward the galleria seems like the #1 spot to me. It’s so common to see wrecks in the lanes connecting to 59. People wait until the last second to get into the lane they want in order to save a couple of minutes and not wait in line. I hate that stuff.

  • Hell even further “west” on West Alabama, well past the contra-flow, I see people driving in the turning lane like it’s nothing.

  • If you cause an accident while talking on your phone, you should permanently lose your license. There just isn’t any excuse for that kind of willful endangerment of people around you, and someone making such poor decisions really ought not to be permitted in a position where they can kill people.

  • Southworst freeway and all it’s ghetto fab drivers rolling dirty is my personal pick for most dangerous stretch of road, from 610 to bw8 is easily one of the scariest most unpredictable places to drive in the whole state..

  • These results shouldn’t really come as a surprise to anyone, as they basically correlate to where there is the most traffic. (see, e.g., Want to avoid wrecks? Don’t go where the cars are!

    I’d like to see this all scaled by traffic volume, to see where the most dangerous spots really are.

  • My daily commute traverses WAla from Shepherd to the Spur. I wore out the horn in my old car and had to buy a replacement. My new car’s horn is starting to sound weak, too. People just can’t seem to figure out what the big red X means, or the lit-up left-turn arrow with the universal red circle-and-slash.

  • Imagine what W. Alabama will be like if they ever build the Richmond rail.

  • Whatever happened to the promise to restore W. Alabama to the way it was prior to the spur expansion? As I recall the contra flow thing was a temporary fix and when the spur was complete it would go back to left turn down the middle, including bike lanes.

  • Why was the contraflow implemented? Was it in anticipation of higher traffic volumes during the spur expansion? I’m curious, when did that take place, and what streets were closed off? In September I’m moving into an apartment that’s a block from the terminus at Brazos.

  • I live a few blocks north of W. Alabama (around the 200 block) and it’s always insane. You’re right. People don’t quite get the concept of a middle lane that’s East sometimes, West other times, and a turn lane still other times.
    If they haven’t gotten it after all this time, they won’t ever. So change it to a perm turn lane.
    I think HEB is trying to get it changed to a turn lane to help their new location?

  • Unfortunately people here don’t understand a turn lane either.

  • the W. Alabama thing is just retarded. can’t say i ever encounter troubles with it, but the way it’s handled guarantees you should expect trouble from it. hopefully HEB can convince the guys to get a clue before it turns into a cluster#$%^ when it opens.

  • “Southworst freeway and all it’s ghetto fab drivers rolling dirty is my personal pick for most dangerous stretch of road, from 610 to bw8 is easily one of the scariest most unpredictable places to drive in the whole state.”

    Amen to that. I drive double-careful around that stretch, because I doubt even half of the drivers have liability insurance.

  • Not to mention the tendency of drivers in the left most lane to want to change to the right most in a space of say 50 yards, or vice versa. Or the amount of trash and things that fall off trucks, nothing like having all 4 tires shredded by metal scrap strewn about 59, thank fork for discount tires at hilcroft. I carry liability and don’t even own a car..