Laredo is a city in Webb County, Texas, on the border with Mexico. It’s a vibrant place, and like a lot of US cities, sees a significant amount of traffic on its roads. In Texas last year, road accident fatalities were lower than the previous year, but despite this, one person was killed every two hours in a vehicle traffic crash. A further 244,092 people were injured in road accidents in the same year.
In Laredo, there were 20 fatal crashes in 2022, 112 crashes that caused serious injuries, and 996 crashes with minor injuries out of a total of 5,997 reported vehicle crashes. Only Fort Worth, Houston, El Paso, Dallas, Corpus Christi, Lubbock, and San Antonio had more reported auto accidents.
Roderick C. Lopez Personal Injury Lawyers explains that because the number of accidents on Laredo roads is comparatively high, it’s important to be on your guard at all times. The auto accident law firm in South Texas gave us some tips to help you avoid a car accident in Laredo, whether the city is your home, or you are just passing through.
1. Don’t Speed
The easiest way to avoid being involved in a car accident in Laredo is to slow down. Driving too fast is one of the main factors in auto accidents. Pay close attention to speed limits on the roads you use. The highest speed limit in the US is 85mph, which drivers can do on the Texas State Highway. The highway allows drivers to bypass Laredo and was opened in 2000. Driving even one mile per hour over the posted speed limit could result in a traffic stop and a speeding citation, but the main danger is that when you are driving too fast, you can’t react as quickly if something happens.
Drive according to the road conditions too. So, in wet or icy weather, slow down.
2. Don’t Drive Too Close to the Vehicle in Front
The Texas Department of Transportation recommends that drivers should maintain at least three seconds of space between their vehicle and the one in front. This gives you enough time to react if the vehicle ahead suddenly brakes or encounters something in the road, such as an animal, child, or broken-down vehicle.
3. Avoid Distracted Driving
Distracted driving causes around one out of every ten road accident fatalities. Distractions include things like cell phones and paying more attention to passengers and not the road. In 2021, there were 421 fatalities in Texas attributed to distracted driving, so pay attention to the road while driving in Laredo.
Make sure you have a good understanding of traffic law. We’ve already mentioned speed limits, but it’s also important to know how to use turn signals, stop at stop signs, and yield the right-of-way when necessary. By adhering to these laws, you contribute to a safer driving environment for yourself and others on the road in Laredo.
4. Stay Alert While Driving in Laredo
Drivers must always be alert and aware of their surroundings. Scan the road ahead, check your mirrors regularly, and be cautious of blind spots. Keep an eye out for pedestrians, cyclists, and other vulnerable road users. Being attentive and staying focused on the road ahead helps you anticipate potential hazards and react promptly, making an accident less likely.
5. Proper Vehicle Maintenance
An oft-neglected aspect of driving, vehicle maintenance is paramount. It’s not just about ensuring your vehicle runs smoothly; it’s about guaranteeing it doesn’t become a risk on the road. For instance, worn-out brakes might lead to delayed stopping, and defunct lights can make your vehicle invisible on a dark road. Consider the tragic accident on I-75 in 2012, where a mechanical failure led to a multi-car pileup1. Simple routine checks can make a world of difference. Regularly consult your vehicle’s manual. It typically provides an optimal maintenance schedule, from oil changes to brake checks.
6. Avoid Aggressive Driving
In today’s high-speed world, patience seems to be in short supply, especially on the roads. Aggressive driving behaviors, such as tailgating and excessive speeding, are not just dangerous but also escalate road tensions. Remember, the few minutes saved aren’t worth a lifetime of regret. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2019, speeding killed 9,478 people. Practice deep breathing if you find yourself agitated. A calm driver is a safe driver.
7. Be Cautious at Intersections
The crossroads of traffic, intersections are notorious for mishaps. Drivers often underestimate the need for heightened alertness here. It’s not just about looking out for vehicles. Cyclists, pedestrians, and even animals can suddenly appear. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) notes that red-light running is a significant traffic safety issue, with 846 fatalities in 2018. Count to three before moving after your light turns green, ensuring all cross-traffic has stopped.
8. Stay Sober
This cannot be stressed enough: alcohol and driving are a deadly mix. Impaired judgment, dulled reflexes, and a false sense of confidence can lead to catastrophic outcomes. The CDC states that, in 2016, alcohol-impaired driving crashes accounted for 28% of all traffic-related deaths in the USA. Always have a backup plan if you intend to drink – a designated driver, a cab, or a friend’s couch for the night.
9. Use Proper Child Safety Seats
Our little ones rely on us to ensure their safety. Using the appropriate child safety seats is not just about following the law; it’s about ensuring our children are protected from the unpredictable nature of accidents. The CDC found that, in one year, more than 618,000 children ages 0-12 rode in vehicles without the use of a child safety seat or booster seat. Consult local traffic authorities or pediatricians to ensure the seat is apt for your child’s age, weight, and height.
If you are unlucky enough to be involved in a road traffic accident in Laredo, contact a car accident lawyer immediately, so they can file a case against the responsible party.
Driving in Laredo needn’t be a risky endeavor if you follow the tips above. Drive safely and you will reach your destination safely!