San Antonio was recently ranked as the fastest-growing city in the country. The growth of the Alamo City is poised to continue on the heels of an ambitious new $55 billion economic plan.
In the coming decades, the population of San Antonio’s metro area is expected to increase 58%, while employment is projected to more than double. With more people and businesses comes more traffic congestion, more big trucks, and more accidents.
How will these changes affect driving in a city that in 2021 had nearly 50,000 crashes, including a record number of deadly crashes? From a traffic safety perspective, San Antonio is heading in the wrong direction. Local police are calling the situation a “crisis.”
San Antonio Records Deadliest Driving Year on Record
Across the nation and across Texas, there has been a deadly surge in traffic accidents. Last year marked the second deadliest year on Texas roads, and the deadliest in four decades.
Year over year, traffic deaths were up 15% to 4,489, according to TxDOT. Statewide, in 2021 there were 4,489 traffic deaths and 239,539 traffic injuries.
San Antonio saw more than 48,000 crashes in 2021. Of these crashes, the leading causes were:
- Distracted driving (19,462)
- Intersections (16,332)
- Work zones (1,562)
- Speed (532)
- Alcohol (57)
San Antonio police report a record number of traffic deaths in 2021. Police responded to over 205 deadly crashes across the city last year and issued 23,525 speeding tickets. An officer told KSAT-TV that these trends represent a “crisis.” The officer also noted that the vast majority of these accidents could have been prevented.
Every year, San Antonio police write thousands of distracted driving citations. Studies have shown that distracted driving is more dangerous than drunk driving. A recent study ranked San Antonio the fourth-worst U.S. city for drunk driving.
Every intersection can be dangerous because of merging traffic flows, but some intersections are more dangerous than others. According to the San Antonio Express-News, some of the worst intersections in the city are:
- Highway 281 and Bitters Road
- Starcrest and Hidden
- I-10 and Woodlawn/Fredericksburg
- 410 and 90 interchange
- Northeast 410 and I-35
- 1604 and Culebra
- Wilderness Oak and Blanco
- Wurzbach and I-10
Nearly 3,000 work zone crashes were reported in San Antonio in 2021, resulting in 21 deaths and dozens of serious injuries. Congestion, equipment, temporary barriers, and traffic redirects can make work zones challenging to navigate, but impatient and distracted drivers make the situation worse.
Big Growth and Big Trucks in San Antonio
San Antonio is the cultural heart of Texas and an important economic center. The second largest city in Texas and the twelfth largest city in the United States, San Antonio is a key crossroad for goods moving into and out of the country. A large portion of those goods are moved by 18-wheelers.
Port San Antonio, created from the former Kelly Air Force Base, offers easy truck access to three interstate highways—I-10, I-35, and I-37—and connects to Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. coasts.
I-10 between San Antonio and Louisiana is among the Texas roadways carrying the most freight tonnage. By 2045, 1-10 from El Paso to San Antonio is expected to carry more than 50 million tons of freight annually.
Mobility 2045, a comprehensive blueprint for meeting Texas’ future mobility needs, notes that there is currently an increase in truck traffic in the San Antonio region, especially along I-35 and I-10. San Antonio is also identified as having one of the fastest growing congestion levels in the country.
The Texas Freight Mobility Plan identifies the I-10, I-35, and I-37 corridors through San Antonio as locations for the proposed Texas Primary Highway Freight Network. In addition, the Texas Clear Lanes Project, a $3.8 billion congestion relief initiative, plans a number of highway infrastructure investments in the San Antonio area at a cost of nearly $1 billion. Major planned projects for San Antonio include expanding US 281, SL 1604, and I-10.
Large trucks are a familiar sight on San Antonio roadways and they’re only going to become more common in the coming years as the amount of Texas truck freight increases. San Antonio already has one of the fastest-growing congestion levels in the nation due to a booming population. More truck travel in and around the city, combined with increased congestion, is a recipe for increased trucking accidents.
Statewide, Texas had more than 38,000 commercial truck crashes in 2021, reports TxDOT. That number was up significantly from the 32,000 statewide truck crashes in 2020. Bexar County was the third leading county for truck accidents, with more than 2,200—up 5% from the previous year. Sixteen of these San Antonio truck crashes were fatal. Many more resulted in serious injuries.
Trucking is big business, and drivers and companies are often under pressure to cut corners to increase profits. Federal trucking inspectors conducted 315,000 roadside inspections in Texas in 2021. About 1 in 20 drivers and 1 in 4 vehicles were cited for violations serious enough to place them out of service.
The Texas Hammer Protects San Antonio Car and Truck Accident Victims
Every 2 minutes, a Texan is injured in a motor vehicle crash. Nobody plans to be in a car accident, but without a plan to deal with the aftermath of a wreck, you’re placing your health and financial future at risk.
As San Antonio grows, it becomes a more dangerous place to drive. However, car accidents aren’t inevitable. They overwhelmingly result from human error. If you aren’t prepared to deal with the claims process, even a small mistake on your part can have major repercussions.
Jim Adler & Associates has helped thousands of injured Texans during our more than 40 years of experience. Our 300-member team of San Antonio personal injury attorneys and support staff, led by Jim “The Texas Hammer” Adler, is ready to fight for you and your family. Program our number into your phone so that you’re ready whenever and wherever you’re in a car or truck accident: 1-800-505-1414. You can also contact us online to schedule a free consultation.