Only Houston had more roadway fatalities from 2001 to 2016. Ericsson

Local News

Dallas Is One of the Most Dangerous Cities To Drive in the U.S.

Only Houston has more fatalities on its roads.

Earlier this month, The Houston Chronicle published an investigation that mapped all 601,187 fatal roadway accidents in the country from 2001 through 2016. It found more vehicle-related fatalities in Houston than any other city. Dallas trailed at No. 2. We lead the country in fatalities involving speeding or traffic backups as well as those that happen on interstates. We also have the most pedestrians killed on freeways. Dallas ranks in the nation’s top three for alcohol and drug-involved deaths, truck-involved fatalities, and road rage fatalities.

The Chronicle took all the data and compared deaths per capita based on population for each year. For speeding, Dallas counted 1.57 speeding fatalities per 100,000 people, the most in the U.S. It pins a lot of the problem on a lack of policing. “Drivers likely speed, at least in part, because they believe no one with authority is paying attention,” reads the report.

Pulling municipal court records, the newspaper found that Dallas police officers issued 13 percent fewer tickets in 2017 than in 2015. Only 62 of the department’s 3,000 or so officers work the traffic beat. Of those 62, 18 were devoted to enforcement, about half of what it had it in 2015.

But there’s something another interesting fold here, which probably shouldn’t be much of a surprise. Most of the crashes are happening outside of the densest portions of the city; they’re generally on freeways afterhours. From the report:

Of 956 fatal crashes in Harris County and surrounding counties involving speeding during the past eight years, only 43 were inside Loop 610, the densest part of Houston, according to state crash records. Most of those were on either Interstate 45 or Interstate 69 during late-night hours.


Get a weekly recap in your inbox every Sunday of our best stories from the week plus a primer for the days ahead.

Find It

Search our directories for...









View All

View All


  • dallasmay

    You want an advocacy tip to improve driving safety: Research Traffic Lights.

    Please, look at the crash data. How many of those fatal crashes involve a traffic light? A driver turning right on red and running over a pedestrian. A driver running a stop light because he was trying to “beat the red light”. A drunk driver to drunk to break for a red light. Etc. A significant proportion of serious crashes happen at traffic lights.

    I wish someone would research this an bring to light the fact that traffic signal lights are the most dangerous and foolish traffic management system humans have ever created.

    • QuestionMark666

      The article itself says otherwise as most accidents occur away for crowded areas where lights would be most prevalent on interstates “Most of those were on either Interstate 45 or Interstate 69 during late-night hours.”

      • sinned96

        Think you mean Highway 69 not Interstate 69

  • JoeBl

    As I read it the analysis looked at metro areas. The use of “Dallas” above isn’t accurate.

  • alex i

    Speeding? In Texas? Really?? To begin with, y’all need to learn how to use blinkers!!!

  • Los_Politico

    “Drivers likely speed, at least in part, because they believe no one with authority is paying attention”

    See also: because the police are speeding, so why should I not?

  • Sarah Rodriguez

    Stay off the phones! It’s awful. A person swerving into other lanes going 70 while texting!! It happens every day during my commute. Also people in Dallas love to stay in the passing lane!! People are so rude they don’t let anyone merge and cars will have a standoff when they know the lane is ending.

    We need law enforcement to get these people off their phones!! It’s not just the teenagers either.

  • False. Come drive here in Washington DC. I just moved here for two years from Dallas an I get full blown anxiety driving here. These people are psychos. The sad part is they’re not on their phones as much as they are in Dallas but it’s a free for all here. They don’t care if they side swipe you, run into you, swerve into your lane.

    In general, people everywhere need to get off their phones because they’re not just texting. They’re instagramming, snap chatting, face freaking timing while driving. No one uses their turn signals. It’s mind blowing

  • Berzerkley

    I’ve lived in 8 states and driven in many more and in Ireland and Italy. Dallas is the worst I’ve seen. Lots of big cars and pick-ups and the semi’s on 75 go way too fast.
    Drivers speed across 3 lanes to get to an exit. Apparently not using turn signals is a point of pride in Dallas…until you kill yourself or someone else. People need to stop using their phones while driving and for God’s sake, don’t drink or drug and drive.

  • Ben Davis

    This only shows that “driving is dangerous”, not that Dallas is the most dangerous city to drive. They should be ranking based on something like average number of commuter miles driven, not per capita. All things being equal, per capia skews the numbers in favor of denser cities. Dallas and Houston have major sprawl, which means more people driving, which means more accidents.