Tips For Driving In San Antonio
Driving in San Antonio can be a lovely experience. Whether you are traveling for work, school, or pleasure, there are scenic streets that everyone needs to visit at least once. However, like any street with multiple drivers, there are areas in San Antonio that are highly congested or dangerous. At Wyatt Law Firm, we want you to be safe and prepared when driving. Whether you are a native, recent transplant, or simply visiting San Antonio, we have listed some streets and highways to avoid or drive cautiously on.
Roads and Highways With High Accident Rates
Auto accidents tend to occur unexpectedly with no warning. Certain areas have reportedly had more car wrecks than other streets. Here are places of which you should be wary.
U.S. 281 North Loop 1604 East
This area has approximately 280 wrecks a year. Loop 1604 is dangerous in general, but with drivers from the U.S. 281 junction trying to merge onto the former loop, there is potential for accidents. When driving on this highway, be careful to abide by the speed and to be prepared to stop during changes. If you can, avoid this area during the mornings or evenings.
South Pan Am Expressway
There is a section of South Pan Am Expressway that is particularly prone to car wrecks. The conjoined section of I-10 and I-35 between West Martin and West Commerce streets has reportedly had many accidents. Because the area is near popular locations, it receives more traffic. It is important to slow down and drive cautiously around this area.
Drivers have reported that many accidents occur on Loop 1604 between Braun and Bandera. Because the road marks an end to the Loop 1604 expressway with a light, many drivers may be unprepared for the stop. This leads to accidents. When exiting any type of expressway, make sure to slow your speed and cautiously merge onto the other road or highway.
Areas With a High Amount of Traffic
No one enjoys sitting in traffic. Everyone is busy with places they need to be. Although traffic congestion may be unavoidable at times, especially in the event of a crash, it can be helpful to know which highways or areas are more often populated.
Situated in downtown San Antonio, the Riverwalk District is a must-see for both tourists and locals. With restaurants, special attractions, and general beauty, it is a place that draws many. As such, you will usually find traffic around the area. Be prepared for traffic and plan accordingly.
The I-35, in general, has a lot of traffic. Some estimate that between Loop 410 to Loop 1604, drivers spend an average of 208,114 hours in traffic every year. From I-10 to U.S. 281, drivers spend an average of 204,931 hours every year.
The I-10 is another popular highway that experiences heavy congestion. Drivers can spend an average of 161,960 hours every year on this route.
How to Drive Safely in San Antonio
While we list some of the dangers of San Antonio driving, we do not want to create the impression that the streets are lurking with dangers and that you should be afraid to drive on them. Like any roadway, a little caution in San Antonio can go a long way. You do not want to take any extra risks that could cause an accident. Believe us when we say that there are plenty of other motorists who will take those risks.
There are 258 miles of freeway within San Antonio and over 7,000 miles of roads. We want you to travel all of them safely. You have a much greater chance of safely reaching your destination when you follow the rules of the road and exercise good judgment behind the wheel. However, not everything depends on your own good driving.
You Can Only Control Your Own Driving
When you are behind the wheel, you cannot control what other drivers do. All you can do is make sure that your own actions are reasonable. This will be an issue when you try to file a claim or lawsuit because the insurance company or jury will want to see if your actions contributed to the accident. This is why safe driving on your part is a must.
Safe driving begins with following traffic laws. This includes refraining from:
- Aggressive driving
- Texting behind the wheel
- Talking on the phone
- Other forms of distracted driving
- Drinking before driving (or while operating a car)
Follow the Traffic Laws at All Costs
Usually, a police officer will show up at the scene of the accident to write a report. After an accident, one of the first things that an investigating officer will do is verify whether each driver followed all the traffic laws. If they have established that you broke the law in the events surrounding your accident, it may end your chances of receiving financial compensation for your injuries. Besides, traffic laws are there to protect you, and it is a best driving practice to always follow them. If another driver broke a traffic law, it would greatly help your chances of recovering compensation.
You owe safe driving not just to yourself but also to your family and any passengers that you may have in the car. Nothing behind the wheel is ever worth your life. While driving itself is stressful, you should make sure that you are as relaxed as possible. Get the proper amount of rest before you get behind the wheel, and never drive if you have been drinking. Fatigued driving
can be every bit as bad as drunk driving. Operating a car without having slept for 20 hours is the same as driving over the legal blood alcohol limit.
How to Drive Defensively In San Antonio
Defensive driving is always a must. The risks of any other type of driving far outweigh any possible benefits.
Here are some examples of defensive driving that could keep you and your loved ones safe:
- Always allow for one car length distance between you and the car in front of you for every ten miles per hour
- Pay attention behind the wheel
- Continuously scan your surroundings as you drive so that you are aware of everything
- Always maintain an escape route to avoid trouble
- Minimize all distractions behind the wheel, including keeping your phone out of view
- Remember that it is always better to be patient and arrive a little later than take dangerous risks
- Try to stay out of large vehicles’ blindspots where the drivers cannot see you
Do Not Take Needless Risks Behind the Wheel
These are just some of the ways that you could practice defensive driving. In general, you should adopt an attitude of being risk-averse behind the wheel. When it comes to driving, the rule of thumb is that it is not worth it. Needless to say, driving can be dangerous, and a safe arrival is your foremost priority.
Of course, not everyone is thinking the same way as you behind the wheel. Every driver has moments when they are left shaking their heads at what other drivers do. The problem is that their misdeeds can impact you and put your family in harm’s way. You need to be in a position to react when someone else endangers you. Drivers cannot avoid every car accident, but many of them can be if you drive defensively.
Defensive driving could also minimize the severity of an accident when another motorist is being negligent. This would at least give you some time to slow down or try to move out of the way.
Special Tips for the San Antonio Roads
- Be careful in the rain - because of San Antonio’s layout, water has nowhere to go when it rains. This means that the roads can get unusually slippery in a hurry. When it starts raining, you should cut your speed and travel as slow as you need to to reach your destination. Do not be afraid to pull over if you have to.
- Give trucks plenty of space - San Antonio is known for having its share of truck traffic. There are far more trucks in the city than the roads can handle. Trucks go to and from the Mexican border and pass on San Antonio highways. Be careful about getting into their blind spots where they cannot see you.
- Be extra careful on rural roads - the rural roads surrounding San Antonio invite dangerous behavior for drivers. Long and straight roads cause drivers to take chances. While you may drive safely, you cannot control the behavior of other drivers.
You Need to Defensively Drive Because Others Do Not
You can never fully trust other drivers around you to act the same as you would. They have different personalities and motivations. Some may be risk-takers, and that extends to their driving. Unfortunately, the risks that they take also put you and your passengers in danger. Others may just be in a hurry, and they do not care who is in their vicinity or may get hurt. Unfortunately, you can end up in the wrong place at the wrong time. Sometimes, no matter how careful you are, other bad drivers will find and injure you.
Other drivers can present numerous risks to you. Most often, they are simply not paying attention. They may be texting or eating behind the wheel. They may have one or no eyes on the road and at least one hand off the wheel. In some cases, they may be just plain bad drivers.
Speeding is another way that other drivers endanger you. When a driver speeds, they have less time to react to road conditions in front of them or to stop when necessary. Many drivers combine speeding with aggressive lane changes and weaving. This could cut other drivers off or even force them off the road. Your own defensive driving could help you avoid some of this, but not always.
There Are More Than 40,000 Accidents Per Year on San Antonio Roads
All of this adds up to a dangerous situation on San Antonio roads. In 2019, there were over 43,000 accidents in the city, including 117 fatalities. In the wider Bexar County area, this number increases to over 50,000. Most of these accidents were the fault of one driver who was being negligent behind the wheel. In fact, the most common dangerous behavior that caused San Antonio car accidents is distracted driving. This was a factor in nearly half of the car accidents in the city.
Other causes of San Antonio car accidents include:
Your Rights When Another Driver Causes Your Injuries
When you have followed the rules of the road and other drivers have not, you have legal rights. One of these is the right to financial compensation. However, to be eligible for payment for the injuries that you have suffered, you need to prove what the other driver did and how it caused your injuries. When you are in an injured state, this is not always the easiest thing to do.
Your auto accident claim could work its way through the insurance process as the first step towards possible financial compensation. It is the driver who was responsible for the accident who has the legal obligation to pay you. Since all drivers in Texas must carry auto insurance, you will be dealing with this company as the first step. But be careful -- the insurance company will do what it can to take advantage of your situation and reduce its obligation to pay. It is always better to get a lawyer involved to ensure that you do nothing to reduce your right to receive adequate compensation.
You Could Recover Financial Compensation if Someone Else Was Responsible
You have a legal right to compensation when you can prove that someone else was negligent. This means that you have shown that they acted in a manner that a reasonable driver would not do under the circumstances. This includes all of the dangerous driving practices that we detailed above. It can also include just plain making a mistake behind the wheel that causes an accident. For example, even rear-ending another driver is an accident that could result in a finding of negligence.
After sustaining injuries in a car accident, you should begin the legal process. This could begin with filing an insurance claim against the responsible driver’s insurance policy. First, you must gather evidence of what happened during the accident to show that someone else was responsible for your injuries. Having a police report that details the accident would help when you are filing an insurance claim. Again, involving an experienced lawyer to act on your behalf is almost always in your best interest.
How to Prove Your Car Accident Claim
Other ways that you may prove what occurred include:
- Eyewitness testimony that could describe what the other driver did
- Pictures of the accident scene and the wreckage of the cars
- Any available video footage
- Expert witness testimony that could recreate the car accident
After you show liability, you could negotiate compensation with the insurance company. Remember that they are not there to look out for your interests. Instead, they want to save themselves money by paying you less than your claim is worth. They may even make you an offer that is for pennies on the dollar.
You have a legal right to full compensation. If the insurance company does not give it to you at first, reject their offer and demand what you deserve. If the insurance company will still not offer fair compensation, you have the right to file a lawsuit in court. If you win, the jury will decide the damages that you receive.
Begin Working on Your Claim as Soon as You Can
It is always better to begin the claims process as soon as you can after your accident. The insurance company often goes to work before you do, and they try to trap you into giving a statement that could hurt your own claim.
In addition, you need to gather evidence of what happened in your crash before it is lost. Recollections may fade, and damage from the accident gets repaired. The time to begin assembling a claim is as soon as you know the extent of your injuries.
How We Can Help You When You Try to Recover Compensation
At Wyatt Law Firm, we believe that you should be able to drive safely in San Antonio. We hope these insights alert you of the dangers on the road and allow you to prepare accordingly. If you have been in an auto accident, contact our San Antonio car crash lawyers today
for a free consultation. We will speak with you, ask you questions about your case, and get right to work. Not only is the consultation free, but you owe us nothing unless you receive a financial recovery in your case.
There is no risk to you. The biggest risk you may have is not having a lawyer on your side to protect you from insurance company overreach. When that happens, you often find yourself in the position of taking whatever the insurance company offers and regretting it in the future.