Two accidents occurred in Madisonville, Texas, within hours of each other, resulting in multiple hospitalizations. With a population of fewer than 5,000 residents, Madisonville saw an average of one accident every three days in 2019.
Madisonville witnessed a series of car accidents on Sunday, April 25th, a rare occurrence in a town of its size. While the two accidents appear to be unrelated in their causes, they do reflect an overall surge in roadway danger during the COVID-19 era.
The first accident happened just before 3:00 p.m. on IH-45, south of Highway 21, and involved two vehicles traveling south. The driver of a 2006 Mazda was traveling in the right lane while the second vehicle, a 2006 Toyota Sequoia SUV, was traveling in the left lane.
The SUV then switched into the right lane, striking the rear-end of the Mazda. As a result, the Mazda struck the center median cable barrier of the highway before coming to a stop in the median. Meanwhile, the SUV rolled several times before coming to a stop in the feeder road of IH-45, westbound.
The driver and two passengers from the SUV were flown to nearby hospitals, while two other passengers were taken to the hospital with minor injuries. The driver of the Mazda was not injured in the accident.
As the cleanup of the first crash was underway, another accident took place on the southbound service road of IH-45.
A 2019 GMC box truck was reportedly traveling southbound on the service road when it failed to yield the right-of-way to a 2017 Ford pickup that was traveling north on SH 75. As a result, the two vehicles collided.
The driver of the box truck was unharmed. Regardless, the pickup truck driver was taken to a hospital with injuries of unknown severity.
The Increase in Car Accidents in Texas
Car accidents have been on the rise throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, but the causes of these accidents tend to be related to driver behavior, rather than outside forces related to the pandemic itself. Simply put, drivers seem to be behaving more recklessly now that fewer cars are on the road.
This trend is shown both in the rise in speeding accidents, particularly accidents involving extremely high speeds or quick speed changes, and an increase in phone-related accidents. Phone usage has also increased amongst drivers throughout the pandemic, both in terms of the amount of time spent looking at the screen, and the number of times the phone is checked. Beyond this, more drivers than usual have been driving while impaired.
Controlling your speed can be tricky at times, but choosing to speed, use your phone, or drive under the influence puts you and everyone else on the road in considerable danger. Keep yourself and your community safe by staying alert and staying cautious while on the road.
If you’ve been involved in a Texas car or truck accident, contact the Houston car accident attorneys of Lapeze and Johns for help seeking relief.