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Traffic volumes are down in the Houston area, but what about crashes?

HOUSTON – The number of cars on our roads plummeted when the stay-at-home order was issued, but did that impact the number of crashes in Harris County?

Buckle up for a shock, because even though the actual number of crashes was smaller, the rate of crashes during this time period was not.

Harris County highways had about 50% fewer cars in March compared to March 2019, according to Houston Transtar.

So why are we still seeing a significant amount of crashes?

"...This is what we were all worried about as we all get back out on the roads and open back up. We’ve seen two tonight that potentially resulted in (a) loss of life. This is where we are,” said Sean Teare with the HPD traffic division.

Some of these accidents were bad enough, they aired on our newscasts including an incident on April 21. Two cousins were hit and killed by a car in Southeast Houston and on the same day, a car ended up wedged between two other cars in a Nexcar dealership on the North Freeway service road at East Louetta Road.

Just days before that incident, a child died in a crash involving an 18-wheeler on Highway 90.

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, between March 16 and April 22 of 2019, Harris County saw a total of about 2,100 crashes.

This year, there were about 1,000 crashes in the same time frame.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said in a Facebook post that, “...it’s concerning to me that we have less cars on the roadway, yet crashes are still occurring. The Harris County Sheriff’s office is still being called to crashes on a daily basis- not what we want to see. Many of the crashes occurred during non-essential trips."

It’s concerning to me that we have less cars on the roadway, yet crashes are still occurring. The Harris County...

Posted by Ed Gonzalez on Saturday, April 11, 2020

He went on to say, many of the crashes he’s witnessed displayed behavior like speeding, which is a trend TXDOT has also noticed.