Interstate 35 stretches across nearly 600 miles of Texas from Laredo near the Mexican border to the Red River north of Gainesville. I-35 connects the major urban areas of San Antonio, Austin, Waco, and Dallas/Fort Worth. It is one of the most heavily-traveled highways in the state.
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) says almost half of the state’s population lives near I-35. This central corridor plays a major role in the state’s economy. A study released in 2021 by the Austin-based insurance marketplace The Zebra named I-35 one of the 10 deadliest roads in the U.S. with 12.56 fatal crashes per 100 miles.
The experienced Texas car accident lawyers of Herrman & Herrman, PLLC can respond promptly if you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a car accident on I-35 in Texas. We have offices in San Antonio and Fort Worth, as well as in Brownsville, McAllen, Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi South Side, and Houston, and have successfully resolved more than 20,000 personal injury claims to date.
Our law firm is prepared to investigate your I-35 accident to determine who was at fault and pursue a claim against the responsible party seeking compensation for you. Contact us now to schedule a free case evaluation.
Common Causes of Accidents On I-35
High speeds and the density of traffic around metropolitan areas along I-35 contribute to the high number of accidents on the busy interstate. In 2018, there were 20,401 traffic crashes along I-35 in Texas, which resulted in 153 deaths and 471 serious injuries, TxDOT says.
The TxDOT says the top causes of fatal crashes along the corridor are speeding and the failure of pedestrians to yield the right of way to vehicles when crossing the highway. Motorists traveling along I-35 encounter many highway construction projects, which creates additional hazards.
Among the causes of I-35 accidents our attorneys have investigated are:
- Speeding. It is illegal to exceed the posted speed limit on I-35. Speeding leads to accidents. Drivers have an obligation to slow down as necessary for traffic congestion or adverse weather conditions.
- Distracted Driving. Distracted driving involves any activity that diverts a driver’s attention from the task of operating their vehicle safely. It only takes a few seconds to look down at a cell phone screen, turn to speak to a passenger, reach for food or a drink, or adjust the radio. But a few seconds is enough time for a vehicle to cover a significant distance on I-35. Because a distracted driver has less time to apply brakes once the driver recognizes an impending crash, distracted driving accidents on I-35 often occur at higher speeds and cause more severe injuries.
- Drunk Driving. Drunk driving continues to be a serious safety issue in Texas. Someone dies in an alcohol-related traffic crash every nine hours and six minutes, according to TxDOT. In 2020, 963 people in Texas were killed and 2,114 were seriously injured because someone chose to get behind the wheel while impaired by alcohol. Occasionally, an intoxicated driver enters I-35 traveling in the wrong direction and causes a head-on collision. At interstate speeds, head-on crashes on I-35 often cause fatal injuries. A drunk driver who causes a fatal accident may be held accountable by the family of the individual killed in the crash.
- Drowsy Driving. Driving when you are sleepy creates a danger that is comparable to drunk driving. Sleepiness slows reaction time and fogs thinking, just as alcohol does. Early morning or late evening commuters, shift workers, late-night travelers, and long-haul truck drivers on I-35 are among drivers most likely to be driving while drowsy or fatigued.
- Work Zones. Road construction and maintenance projects occur throughout the I-35 corridor. In these work zones, drivers are likely to encounter concrete barriers, slow-moving heavy equipment, lane changes, detours, and vehicles making sudden stops. Speeding, inattention, impairment, and other recklessness can cause accidents as traffic slows to accommodate a work zone.
- Inclement Weather. Drivers have an obligation to maintain control of their vehicles, even in adverse driving conditions. That means they must slow down to account for rain, snow, fog, or other hazardous conditions. Drivers who cause car accidents because they did not exercise due caution during adverse weather conditions may be held accountable for the harm they cause.
Rear-end accidents account for many accidents in congested traffic on I-35. They are typically caused by some combination of improper speed, inattention, and following too closely. Multi-vehicle accidents on I-35 tend to make the news because of the numerous people injured. Often a single rear-end collision or sideswipe accident on the interstate can cause a chain reaction that sparks a pileup and the devastating injuries they can cause.
Common Injuries in I-35 Car Accidents
The blunt force trauma inflicted upon a driver or passenger in a car accident can cause a variety of serious injuries. In addition to the impact of the collision, people in car accidents suffer injuries from the secondary impact of hitting internal structures in the vehicle, such as seatbacks, door panels, or windows. Passengers may slam into each other. Car occupants ejected from their vehicles may be thrown onto the pavement or the ground.
The most common car accident injuries in Interstate 35 accidents include:
- Soft Tissue Injuries
- Lacerations (cuts) and penetrating injuries
- Neck Injuries, including whiplash
- Fractures (broken bones)
- Head and Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
- Spine and Spinal Cord Injuries, which may cause paralysis
- Internal Organ Damage
- Nerve Damage
Serious injuries suffered in an I-35 accident may require emergency medical care, as well as hospitalization, surgery, and rehabilitation over a lengthy period of time. Some injuries lead to disability and loss of earning capacity. An accident victim may seek reimbursement for medical care costs, lost income, and other losses as part of a car accident claim.
What to Do After an Accident On I-35
An accident on I-35 immediately causes a traffic backup that affects hundreds and potentially thousands of drivers. Most other drivers will try to get around the accident and continue on their way. With traffic passing nearby, individuals involved in an I-35 accident should make sure it is safe before getting out of their vehicles to assess the vehicle damage and others’ injuries.
After an interstate highway car crash, you should:
- Assess yourself and others in your vehicle for injuries and assist people who are hurt.
- Phone 911 if anyone needs to go to the emergency room. Request an ambulance for each injured person.
- If you can drive the vehicle, Texas law requires you to move it out of the flow of traffic.
- Exchange names, addresses, phone numbers, vehicle identification numbers (VINs), vehicle license plate numbers, insurance information, and driver license information with the others involved in the crash
- Call the police if:
- an injury or fatality is involved
- the vehicles cannot be moved
- you suspect one of the drivers is intoxicated
- one of the drivers has no insurance
- one of the drivers leaves the scene.
- Take photos of the accident scene, including the position of the vehicles before they are moved, vehicle damage, your injuries, and any traffic hazards or road obstructions that may have contributed to the crash.
- Stay calm and cooperate with the police and others. Do not apologize or accept blame for the accident or blame others.
- Once you are home, write down what happened in your own words. This may be valuable later as your memory inevitably changes what you recall.
- Within 24 hours, contact your insurance company to report the accident. Answer the insurance company’s questions honestly, but don’t engage in speculation or blame. Do not exaggerate or downplay your injuries or vehicle damage.
- Within 24 hours, see a doctor if you have not already done so. Many injuries, especially head injuries, can be serious despite mild symptoms in the first 24 hours or more. Get the care you need. The medical record generated by the doctor’s evaluation will document your injuries in case you need to file an injury claim later.
Contact a Texas Interstate Highway Car Accident Lawyer
Our law firm has extensive experience in personal injury law, having handled more than 20,000 cases. We have office locations inCorpus Christi, Corpus Christi South Side, Brownsville, McAllen, San Antonio, Houston, and Ft. Worth. Herrman & Herrman has Spanish-speaking and English-speaking staff. You can discuss your legal matter in the language that you are most comfortable speaking.
Contact us today at (361) 882-4357 or online for a free, no-obligation evaluation of your accident claim. We work on a contingency fee basis. We don’t accept a fee unless we recover money for you. Call us now.