Dallas County

Stemmons Freeway Has the Deadliest Stretch of Road in Texas

MoneyGeek analyzed over 10,000 fatal Texas crashes from 2017-2019, which includes nearly 4,000 roads in the state.
MoneyGeek analyzed over 10,000 fatal Texas crashes from 2017-2019, which includes nearly 4,000 roads in the state. Jacob Vaughn
click to enlarge MoneyGeek analyzed over 10,000 fatal Texas crashes from 2017-2019, which includes nearly 4,000 roads in the state. - JACOB VAUGHN
MoneyGeek analyzed over 10,000 fatal Texas crashes from 2017-2019, which includes nearly 4,000 roads in the state.
Jacob Vaughn
Ice-slicked roads took over Texas during winter storm Uri. Around 6 a.m. on Feb. 11, cars on I-35 in Fort Worth started slamming into each other, sliding and unable to stop due to the freeze. By the end of the day, several commuters had died and dozens more were injured.

More than 80 police units and a dozen ambulances showed up at the scene. “Please keep in your prayers the families who have lost a loved one in this massive fatality accident,” Fort Worth police officer Daniel Segura said during a press conference at the time. “In my almost 20 years in service, this is the first time ever that [I've seen] anything like this in Fort Worth.”

According to a report by MoneyGeek, a Reno-based personal finance website, 10% of crashes Texas are caused by poor weather conditions.

MoneyGeek analyzed more than 10,000 fatal Texas crashes from 2017-2019, which includes nearly 4,000 roads in the state. They looked at drunk-driving rates, weather conditions and the times of day of each crash happened in order to identify some of the deadliest roads in each county.


For the report, MoneyGeek looked at data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Fatal Accident Reporting System.

“In my almost 20 years in service, this is the first time ever that [I've seen] anything like this in Fort Worth.” – Daniel Segura, Fort Worth Police Department

tweet this
A quarter of the fatal accidents involved drunk driving, according to the report. The report also found that Dallas is home to three of ten deadliest five-mile stretches in Texas. Two of those top the list.

Throughout the two-year period, there were 20 fatal accidents on Stemmons Freeway (part of I-35), putting it at the top the list. Coming in second is Dallas’ Marvin D. Love Freeway, where there were 15 deadly crashes. Clocking in at No. 5 on the list is Texas State Highway Loop 12, which saw 12 deadly accidents.

The number of fatal accidents in Dallas County during the two years MoneyGeek studied reached 806. Of those, 243 were the result of drunk driving. Across the country, about 28 people die every day in drunk-driving crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In Texas, there’s about two deaths per day caused by drunk driving.

The second-leading cause of crashes in Texas is distracted driving. Last year, there were 364 deaths, as well as 2,200 seriously injured people as a result of distracted driving, according to Texas Department of Transportation. In Texas, a driver can face a fine of up to $200 for texting while behind the wheel.

In 2019 alone, there were nearly 60,000 crashes caused by poor weather conditions: snow, ice, sleet and fog, for example.

Taking precautions, like replacing brittle windshield wipers and dirty headlights, maintaining proper tire pressure and your breaks, can help prevent crashes during bad weather.
KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jacob Vaughn, a former Brookhaven College journalism student, has written for the Observer since 2018, first as clubs editor. More recently, he's been in the news section as a staff writer covering City Hall, the Dallas Police Department and whatever else editors throw his way.
Contact: Jacob Vaughn