A street light known for vehicle collisions has been taken down after a man struck the pole with his vehicle and died on Tuesday, June 22. The light has been replaced with a four-way stop.
The Street Light Collision
Authorities say the light pole that was struck in the morning’s deadly crash had been hit many times before under similar circumstances. The intersection of Katy Freeway westbound feeder road and the West Beltway southbound feeder road is now a four-way stop.
“We’ve had accidents over here at that exact same pole, vehicles wrapped around the pole,” Lt. R. Wilkins with the Houston Police Department told reporters.
According to local reporting, the light has caused a noticeable increase in accidents during morning rains. With a street light at the intersection, drivers with green lights speed through an area when they normally would have been forced to come to a complete stop.
The accident on June 22 occurred at around 1 a.m. during an early morning shower. The driver was reportedly driving a truck at a high rate of speed when they slammed into the traffic light, shearing the roughly 12 inch thick pole off at the base.
The driver of the truck died on impact, and the vehicle subsequently caught on fire. Neither a general description of the driver nor their identity has been released by the police.
What Causes Texas Intersection Accidents
According to the Federal Highway Administration, roughly half of all car accidents occur at intersections. While many of these accidents occur at four-way stop intersections, those that occur at two-way stops and traffic lights may have the potential to be more dangerous due to the greater likelihood that the vehicles involved will be traveling at higher speeds.
While slick roads can definitely contribute to intersection danger, the vast majority of Texas accidents happen under clear or cloudy skies. Rather than the weather, a lack of care on the part of the driver is much more likely to lead to an intersection crash.
Driver inattention is one of the largest contributors to intersection crashes. Texting and driving, driving while tired, and driving under the influence may all impact your ability to drive safely through an intersection, especially one that’s complex or fast-moving.
Driving carefully means being a responsible driver, but irresponsible, illegal, and generally unsafe decisions are unfortunately common causes of intersection crashes.
Behaviors that often lead to intersection car accidents include the following:
- Running red lights
- Illegal lefts or U-turns
- Changing lanes mid-intersection
- Turning from the wrong lane
Unfortunately, you don’t have to do something irresponsible as a driver to cause an intersection car accident. Misjudging your own speed, the other drivers’ speed, space between other vehicles or your own, misinterpreting what another driver intends to do, and other errors in judging distances can contribute to the likelihood of an intersection accident.
To avoid an intersection accident, be sure to drive with care and follow the marked traffic patterns and laws, including using your turn signal!
If you’ve been injured in a Texas car accident, contact the Houston car accident attorneys of Lapeze & Johns to learn about your rights to compensation.