The following article reflects 2022 traffic data. Sources: Austin Police Department, Austin Public Information office, Sept. 2023
Austin, Texas is a wonderful city for both visitors and residents.
However, the increasing number of vehicles on our roads means we now have some of the state’s most dangerous intersections.
Everywhere in Austin where two or more roads intersect or converge has some level of risk. Nevertheless, certain intersections pose a higher level of danger than others, resulting in a significant number of accidents each year in Austin.
Be careful when driving around our beautiful city, but be especially careful in these places! Because these are the most dangerous intersections in Austin.
Austin: Dangerous Intersection Capital of the World?
So far in 2023, there have been 60 fatalities on Austin roads. (the data is up to date as September 1, 2023).
That number only begins to tell the story. A story about all of the years that loved ones in our community have lost lives due to car crashes this year, a story about life-changing injuries and livelihoods taken away for weeks, months, years … or forever.
Allstate’s “America’s Best Drivers Report” listed Austin at number 160 for its most recent report , falling far behind in safety in comparison to other Texas cities like Plano and Houston. The report says that Austinites are 39.2 percent more likely to be involved in an accident than the nationwide average.
However, Austin drivers aren’t entirely at fault. The city is home to some of Texas’ deadliest intersections—the site of numerous car crashes with high fatality rates. Pedestrian deaths make up a considerable amount of these incidents, accounting for about a third of all motor vehicle fatalities in Austin.
At Funk & Associates, our car accident attorneys feel that any traffic death is one too many, which is why we want to express the importance of taking caution when traveling through dangerous intersections in the city of Austin.
Austin’s Most Deadly Intersections in 2022
Austin suffered 122 traffic fatalities in 2022.
These numbers had gone down during the Covid lockdown (when there were fewer drivers on the road), but in 2022 we shot past the pre-Covid (2019) number of fatalities, which was 88.
So where are these fatal accidents occurring most often?
Let’s look at 2022 data and point out a few of the most dangerous intersections in Austin, TX.
Parmer Lane and IH-35
There were five fatal accents at or near Parmer Lane and I-35 in 2022.
These accidents included:
- A large passenger vehicle (in two of these incidents)
- A passenger car vs. pedestrian
- A motorcycle crash
A “large passenger vehicle” is generally defined as having 10 or more seats, including the driver’s seat.
Take a look at the absolute mess that construction in the area about a year ago:
RELATED VIDEO: Check Out The Mess At Parmer/Interstate 35
Just look at the other headaches we’ve seen at this intersection:
- Motorcycle crash kills 1 on N I-35 frontage
- Auto vs. pedestrian crash kills 1 on I-35NB
- Multi-vehicle crash on Parmer Ln. leaves 3 injured
- 1 seriously hurt in motorcycle crash on Parmer
Ben White and Lockhart Highway
In 2022 we saw four fatal accidents resulting in five deaths at or near the intersection of Ben White and Lockhart Highway (US-183)
These accidents included:
- A large passenger vehicle (in two of these incidents)
- A passenger car vs. a large passenger vehicle (two fatalities from one accident at this one)
- Another accident involving two large passenger vehicles
- Another large passenger vs. a pedestrian.
Here’s some bad news from the Funk Archives about this horrible stretch of road:
- 1 hospitalized with life-threatening injuries following crash on US-183
- 2-car crash with pin-in injures 2 in SE Austin
E. Caesar Chavez and Airport Blvd.
We saw four fatality accidents at or near this intersection in 2022. These accidents included:
- A pedestrian was run over and killed
- Two passenger cars collided
- Two motorcycle crashes (one involving a passenger car)
RELATED VIDEO: Panhandler Sleeping in the Median at Airport Blvd near I-35 Gets Woken Up By a (Drunk?) Driver
I-35 and Ben White (Highway 290)
This busy intersection is the site of numerous accidents every year because of the heavy traffic and merging lanes everywhere you look.
All three fatality accents at this intersection in 2022 involved motorcycles. Two of them involved large passenger vehicles.
Other Dangerous Intersections in Austin
The roads mentioned (and mapped) above were the worst offenders in 2022. But what about other hotpots around Travis County that continue to be the site of dangerous collisions? Let’s take a look:
West Slaughter Lane and Manchaca/Menchaca Road
A 2017 City Council report named the intersection of West Slaughter Lane and Manchaca Road (sorry, but it will ALWAYS be “Menchaca” as far as we’re concerned, however hard they try to re-name it) the most dangerous in Austin. Lots of traffic, lots of drivers in a hurry, and a four-way stop with traffic lights creates a high risk for auto accidents. The intersection has protected left turn signals, which should promote some degree of safety, but impatient drivers put themselves and other motorists at risk by turning too soon (or too late).
Parmer Lane and N. Lamar Boulevard
Here’s another of of the most dangerous intersections in Austin, with about a dozen accidents every year. There were no fatalities in 2022, fortunately, but the multiple lanes and cars whizzing by at high speeds are creating LOTs of headaches …
The intersection has an especially high number of rear-end collisions. Many of these collisions involve motorists coming from the interstate and making right turns at high speeds. What often occurs is a driver making a right turn has to stop abruptly because of the traffic ahead, and the driver behind them cannot brake in time.
East Cesar Chavez Street and Pleasant Valley Road
This intersection is one of the most dangerous in Austin for pedestrians, with several injury accidents involving pedestrians and bicycles happening each year. The intersection is located near a lot of homes and businesses, with lots of traffic during rush hour and several pedestrian crossings (which drivers seem to never see).
Riverside Drive and South Congress Avenue
This intersection is where the tourists like to go to places like The Continental Club and The Austin Motel. It is also famous for its heavy traffic and complicated merging lanes. The intersection has been the site of several accidents, including several involving pedestrians. However, in 2022 no one was killed or seriously injured here.
Burnet Road and Research Boulevard
Chances are you’ve tried to get to one of the many businesses located at this intersection—a busy commercial area known for bumper-to-bumper traffic and confusing lanes. The intersection has been the site of plenty accidents over the years, many involving involving motorcycles. Research Boulevard’s entire length was the site of injury accidents in 2022; however, no one was killed at the Burnet Road intersection in 2022.
U.S. 183 Service Road and Cameron Road
An average of 24 crashes is reported at this intersection each year, according to crash data. One problem is that drivers make right turns too quickly, putting pedestrians in danger.
In 2022, four accidents causing serious injury were documented at this intersection.
Cesar Chavez Street and I-35
The I-35 corridor has been on the Austin Transportation Department’s radar for a while now, and the northbound side of this intersection was also listed as one of the city’s Top Crash Location Priorities.
Roads that intersect with interstate service roads are often the site of fatal accidents due to the high speeds involved. This is one reason why the Cesar Chavez and I-35 intersection is so dangerous.
One fatality accident occurred here in 2022 (on Aug. 31).
The intersection has a lot of downtown traffic and pedestrian activity due to its proximity to bars and clubs. Other factors that make it hazardous include downtown congestion and a high rate of driving while intoxicated.
Trinity and East 7th Street
This is one of the most dangerous intersections for pedestrians in all of Texas. Only one serious injury was recorded here in 2022, however—a passenger car vs. a pedestrian.
If you look at the last few years, however, this spot is by far one of the worst intersections for pedestrian accidents in all of Texas. This intersection was the site of 40 pedestrian crashes, with nearly a dozen pedestrian injuries every year, making it one of the top offender for pedestrian incidents in the state.
In an attempt to reduce pedestrian accident rates, the city of Austin came up with the Pedestrian Safety Action Plan. It studied the city’s pedestrian crash rates and suggested solutions for improved safety, including building sidewalks where needed and performing necessary sidewalk maintenance, signal adjustments, increased police surveillance, and speeding enforcement.
Riverside Drive and S. Pleasant Valley Road
The southeast intersection of Riverside and S. Pleasant Valley (two busy roads on Austin’s east side) is considered one of the most dangerous in the city. About 17 incidents are reported per year, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.
In 2022, two serious injury accidents were reported here—one involving a bicycle and another involving a motorcycle.
North Lamar and Rundberg Lane
This fast-growing and busy intersection sees many drivers making left turns out of the shopping centers along North Lamar. These left turns often lead to collisions.
On May 18, 2022, there was a fatality accident here involving a large passenger vehicle, a passenger car and a pedestrian. Other serious injury accidents here involved a car vs. a pedestrian and a car vs. a motorcycle.
- Child ejected in north Austin rollover crash
- Woman fatally struck by hit-and-run driver in north Austin
- Pedestrian critically hurt after north Austin hit-and-run
Highway 183 and Loyola Lane
Along with I-35, 183 is one of the highest-reporting roads for serious accidents in the Austin area. The intersection of 183 and Loyola sees numerous crashes every month.
RELATED VIDEO: Austin Drivers Are Trying To Kill You …
Why Is Traffic So Bad In Austin?
Austin is now one of America’s most congested cities. Some reports say the average Austin driver loses 32 hours to traffic each year. While those figures got better during the pandemic lockdown (and more people were working from home), traffic is now steadily increasing once again.
Drivers are returning to the office, and danger is returning to Austin’s intersections.
The problem really comes down to a failure to plan. Growing cities like Austin weren’t paid out and planned for the kind of growth we’ve experienced. Before the 80s, we were still a sleepy university town that happened to also be the seat of the Texas government.
City planners did not predict the drastic growth in the tech boom of the 80s (and beyond), so Austin has only one major interstate, plus a “loop” that isn’t really a loop at all. In Response, toll roads (including Highway 45 and 130) were built. But as Austin grows, the toll roads seem like they were a band-aid on a leg fracture.
Austin’s metro region spans 327 miles but has about 3,200 people per square mile. This drivers like you and me must travel longer distances to get to the grocery store or to work. This means traffic—and congestion—are pretty much always terrible.
Related Video: Impatient Mo-Pac Driver Gets What’s Coming To Him (Wait For It) …
What Austin Is Doing About Deadly Intersections
Believe it or not, the city of Austin is spending some money to fix some of the problematic/dangerous intersections in the city.
It’s your money, so you should know about it.
Austin voters approved $720 million in bonds in 2016 for The 2016 Mobility Bond to fund transportation and mobility improvements throughout the city. Austin voters also approved $720 million in bonds in 2016. Then Austin voters approved $925 million in bond propositions, including $160 million for transportation infrastructure, in November 2018.
In November 2020, Austin voters approved $460 million for transportation infrastructure including sidewalks, transportation-related bikeways, urban trails, transportation safety projects (Vision Zero), safe routes to school and substandard streets. A dedicated team of engineers, data analysts, and builders are delivering these improvements for a more mobile and safe Austin.
There are ongoing projects that should improve the safety of Austin’s intersections:
Barton Springs Road at South First Street
A raised median is being constructed on Barton Springs Road for access management; driveways and crosswalks are being relocated or reconfigured; pedestrian and bicycle paths are being reconstructed and realigned; and the entire intersection is being reconfigured. Signal phasing (how a traffic signal accommodates the various users at an intersection) is being changed, and striping and other “pavement treatments” are in the works.
In council district 9, the budget for this project is $1.3 million and is coming from the 2016 Mobility Bond.
Congress Avenue at Ramble Lane
A new traffic signal will be installed and a new northbound left turn lane will be added. Shared use paths (for pedestrians and cyclists) are going in on both sides of South Congress Avenue to improve pedestrian, bicycle and transit infrastructure. This council district 3 project is slated to cost $983,000 (paid for by the Texas Department of Transportation’s Highway Safety Improvement Program and 2018 Mobility Bond)
Stassney Lane at South Congress Avenue
Improvements in the works include adding new and additional left turning lanes, new raised concrete medians, modified triangular median islands, new bicycle and pedestrian paths, six new Capital Metro bus stops, driveway modifications, upgraded pedestrian infrastructure, signal infrastructure upgrades and new pavement surface treatment with new markings and signage.
Located in both districts 2 and 3, the project budget is $5.17 million and will be paid by CapMetro and the 2018 Mobility Bond.
Lamar Boulevard at Koenig Lane
The planned improvements at Lamar Boulevard and Koenig Lane (in council districts 4 and 7) include the addition of a median island (“smart right” ) to improve safety. A smart right-turn widens the cone of vision of the driver towards the pedestrians as well as the cross-traffic.
The improvement also includes configuration of the intersection, signal phasing changes, enhanced pedestrian facilities featuring Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant curb ramps, plus associated signing, striping, and paving.
Funding comes from the 2016 Mobility Bond and the price tag is $350,000.
Burleson Road at US 183
This project, in council district 2, is designed to improve safety and mobility in multiple ways for all users of the intersection. Improvements include building “shared use” paths (for pedestrians and cyclists) on all sides of the intersection, a new eastbound right turn lane on US 183 and improving pedestrian infrastructure. Funding comes from the 2020 Mobility Bond.
Riverside Drive at Metro Center Drive
This project, in council district 2, is designed to improve safety and mobility . Funding comes from the 2020 Mobility Bond and Vision Zero program.
VIDEO: Why You Always Look Both Ways (Even When You Have The Green Light) …
Planned Intersection Improvements (Not Yet In the Works)
The following intersection improvements are planned by the city but not yet begun (as of September 2023):
- Braker Lane at Metric Boulevard
- Cameron Road at Anderson Lane
- Cameron Road at US-290
- Comal Street at Seventh Street
- Ed Bluestein Boulevard at Manor Road
- FM 969 at Regency Drive
- Howard Lane at Center Line Pass/The Lakes Boulevard
- Howard Lane at Dessau Road
- Lamar Boulevard at West Gate Boulevard
- Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard at Springdale Road and Heflin Lane
- Oltorf Street at Burton Drive
- Oltorf Street at East Side Drive
- Pleasant Valley Road at Teri Road
- Rundberg Lane at Mearns Meadow Boulevard/Collinfield Drive
- Rundberg Lane at North Creek Drive
- Seventh Street at Springdale Road
- Stassney Lane at Menchaca Road
- Stassney Lane at South First Street
- Stassney Lane/Montopolis Drive at Burleson Road
Dangerous intersections like Riverside Drive and S. Pleasant Valley Road are included in the city’s Top Crash Location Priorities, which is a list of dangerous street crossings in Austin that are designated for improvements.
Finally, here are the intersections the City have been/are focused on improving through community bond dollars.
How to Handle Hazardous Intersections Like A Pro
While the city has plans to fix some of these dangerous intersections, it’s probably unrealistic that drivers are able to completely avoid these areas until improvements are finished. Therefore, it’s on you to drive responsibly to keep yourself (and others) safe.
WHEN you drive also matters! As it turns out, Saturday is the day with the highest number of fatal crashes in the city, perhaps due to the high number of Austinites drinking and driving. For up-to-date stats, check the data collected from Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Reports and processed by the Texas Department of Transportation.
Here are other tips that can keep you and others out of harm’s way:
- Even if you always drive safely, there’s only so much you can do about other drivers on the road. So drive defensively!
- Avoid speeding through yellow lights. Proceed with caution.
- Stay attentive when crossing through intersections. Avoid distractions including using your phone, applying makeup, or eating.
- Use turn signals to alert other drivers around you about your intention to change lanes
- Proceed with caution through pedestrian crosswalks. Always yield to pedestrians!
- Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the car in front of you. Don’t tailgate.
- Even though it doesn’t rain much in Austin, make sure you turn your headlights on and slow to a reasonable speed. Especially when it’s raining for the first time in a long while—fresh rain mixes with oil on the pavement and makes roads extra slick.
Don’t wait for city officials to take steps to improve safety and reduce the risk of accidents. But remember, you have a voice! You can advocate at the community level for better traffic management, improving signage, and increasing the number of crosswalks and pedestrian signals. By working together, we can make Austin’s roads safer for everyone.
What You Should Do If You’re Involved In An Intersection Accident
Print these steps out and keep them in your car. If you don’t have a printer, come by our office and we’ll print a copy for you.
In the interest of ensuring your rights and well-being, you need to follow all of these steps. Should you require further assistance or legal guidance, do not hesitate to reach out to a qualified car accident lawyer.
If you find yourself in an accident at an intersection in Austin, stay calm and follow these steps:
- Remain at the Scene: It is crucial to stay at the accident location until police tell you it’s ok to leave. If the incident becomes a “he said, she said” situation, you might think you’re moving on with your day and continuing on to your destination, only to have the other driver claim you “ran.” “Fleeing the scene” can have serious legal implications!
- Get Medical Help: Should there be any injuries sustained by you or any parties involved, call 911 and let them know medical evaluation is needed. Once paramedics are on-site, make sure all injuries are tended to and properly documented. Later, keep a detailed record of medical visits, treatments, surgeries, and prescribed medications.
- Get Medical Help: Wait, isn’t this item already on the list? Yes, but it’s so important we’re writing it again. The most important thing to remember is: if you are injured or are in pain due to a collision, get evaluated by a medical doctor immediately. Many times, you may be in shock or have a rush of adrenaline after a car accident, and only after that wears off do you realize you are injured. The insurance company will always claim you are not hurt if you have not sought treatment. If you are in pain, allow a medical doctor to create a written record of your injuries and symptoms—this way the insurance company cannot claim you were not hurt due to lack of treatment.
- Get Police Help: Even if injuries aren’t apparent, notifying the police is advisable. A police report is valuable if a personal injury claim needs to be filed.
- Exchange Insurance and License info: Collect all insurance information from all individuals involved in the collision. Take photos of their id cards, including contact details of their insurance agent, and write or photograph details from their driver’s licenses. This is true if the “other driver” was a pedestrian. Get their i.d.
- Be A Detective: You’re stressed and possibly injured. It’s not a great time to play games. Still, you have to put on your detective hat and collect some evidence. Capture photographs of the accident scene, including vehicular damages and personal injuries. If there are any witnesses, get their contact information.
- Consult an Austin Car Accident Attorney: Talk to a trusted car accident lawyer in Austin. We listen to you—that’s literally what we do. Let’s talk about the specifics of the incident, your medical treatment, and any other important information. This will help us evaluate whether or not you might have a personal injury case.
Let’s Summarize Things Here ….
Despite consistently ranking as one of the best places to live in the United States, Austinites experience a high number of traffic fatalities and severe injuries due to dangerous intersections. Navigating Austin’s traffic takes skill and focus when operating a vehicle.
So stay off your cell phone! Because you can bet other drivers aren’t paying attention. Thanks to their recklessness, life-altering collisions can happen, particularly when they ignore stoplights or stop signs at intersections like Caesar Chavez and Airport Blvd. or Parmer and I-35.
Whether you are a resident of Austin or planning a visit in the near future, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with the city’s most hazardous intersections. Knowledge is power! Your safety and the safety of fellow Austinites depends on driving defensively as you navigate our city’s roadways.
If you have been hurt in a car accident caused by someone else at one of Austin’s intersections, you should not have to pay out-of-pocket for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage, and other losses. If the crash was caused by another driver’s negligence, you could be entitled to compensation.
The highly skilled and compassionate Austin car accident lawyers at Funk & Associates will review the details of your case and walk you through your legal options. We DO NOT get a fee unless you get a recovery. You will not be charged a fee for the consultation. Our fee is based on a percentage of what we obtain for you
The personal injury lawyers at Funk & Associates can handle Truck Accidents, Motorcycle Accidents and other Personal Injury Claims. Give us a call before you accept a settlement!. CALL (512) 472-FUNK.
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