Texas Road Trip Hidden Gems

Texas Road Trip Hidden Gems

Going your own way in the Lone Star State.

Summer is here, and we’re all revved up for a Texas road trip!

If you and your family want to get out and see some wide open spaces, keep in the mind the best Texas road trip routes might not be the same anymore. Tons of popular destinations like Big Bend National Park and Hamilton Pool Preserve are closed to the public due to COVID-19, but that doesn’t mean you can’t hit the road to enjoy some fresh air, stunning sights, and quirky finds here in the Lone Star State.

Texas is so much more than bluebonnets and barbecue. Below are some unique photo ops and stops we’d make on the road less traveled in our beloved state. Read on and see what sparks your interest – and your thirst for adventure! Click the destination names for more info, and use our interactive map to take a closer look and plan your Texas road trip route.

Stay cool and stay safe along the way by reading up on these top 25 summer road trip tips before you buckle up.

Take a road trip to High Island Rookery in TexasHigh Island Rookery
2205 Old Mexico Road, High Island, TX 77623

With free admission and gorgeous views, the Smith Oaks Bird Sanctuary on High Island is an unparalleled bird watching destination. Bring a good camera along as you explore nearly 200 acres and see waterbirds like the gorgeous roseate spoonbill. Summertime means the egrets, herons, and spoonbills are building nests and raising their young. The best time to visit? Around sunset, when the birds fly in to settle down for the night. Bring cash; a day pass is $8 per person. Check out a guide to the birds here!

 

Royse City Future House
9573 State Highway 276 W Royse City, Texas, 75189

Tiny homes may be trendy now, but this one was truly ahead of its time. Architect Matti Suuronen, hailing from Finland, produced less than 100 of these sci-fi inspired domiciles in the 1960s. The modular design and fiberglass-and-plastic fabrication meant they could be erected wherever, whenever. Even though this one is in a state of disrepair – with a barren graffiti-coated interior – it’s still an architectural marvel worth checking out on your way through Texas.

 

Alien Gravesite
507 Cemetery Rd Aurora, Texas, 76078

When it comes to Martian conspiracies, there’s more than just Roswell. Aurora was once abuzz with UFO rumors, including a spaceship crash in 1897. Apparently, the body of the alien pilot was recovered and buried beneath a tree in this cemetery. The headstone was stolen, but a historical marker in the cemetery still mentions the little guy. UFO theorists have even asked for the site to be exhumed, but have had no luck.

 

The Leaning Tower of Texas
I-40, Route 66 Groom, Texas, 79039

Our own slice of Pisa! This water tower was purchased, installed, and modified by Ralph Britten to drive traffic to his nearby truck stop and restaurant. Though they’ve since been lost in a fire, the tower still stands as one of the most photographed landmarks in the area. No Texas road trip would be complete without it!

 

Cadillac RanchStop in Amarillo to see Cadillac Ranch on your Texas road trip
I-40 Amarillo, Texas, 79124

Built in 1974 by The Ant Farm art collective and Stanley Marsh (the eccentric millionaire, not the South Park character), this site sports ten Cadillacs wedged into the dirt. Make your mark – visitors are encouraged to add to the graffiti all over the cars! Cadillac Ranch also inspired copycat installations in Texas such as the VW Slug Bug Ranch in Conway and Combine City in Amarillo, plus Carhenge all the way in Nebraska!

 

Mini Prada
Valentine, TX

This aesthetic anachronism was built in 2005 by Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset, a pair of artists from Berlin. Miuccia Prada gave them her blessing and even helped select the merchandise. To discourage thieves, the windows are heavily reinforced, the handbags have no bottom panels, and none of the shoes come in pairs. Take Route 90 west out of Valentine to find this little Texas road trip gem. While you’re in the area, check out the eerie Marfa Lights viewing station off Highway 67.
Check out the Instagram hashtag: #pradamarfa

 

Tiny Target
US-90, Alpine, TX

In Brewster County, between the towns of Marathon and Alpine in West Texas, sits the tiniest Target storefront you’ll ever see. The structure appeared mysteriously in 2016, and although it is clearly inspired by the Marfa Prada, no one has stepped up to take credit for it.
Check out the Instagram hashtag: #targetmarathon

 

World’s Largest Spur
902 US-281 Lampasas, Texas, 76550

They say everything’s bigger in Texas… and it doesn’t get much more Texan than this! Created in 2016, this 35-foot, 5-ton art piece is made of steel, iron, and copper. It is verified by The Guinness Book of World Records as the World’s Largest Spur. Visit at night to see the neon lights at the top!

 

Japanese Tea GardenSan Antonio Japanese Garden
400 N. St. Marys, Suite 101 San Antonio, Texas 78205

Converted from an abandoned limestone rock quarry, the San Antonio Japanese Tea Garden is perhaps the most picturesque stop on our list. Parks Commissioner Ray Lambert consulted Japanese-American artist Eizo Jingu for the design of the garden in the early 1900s. Open daily with free admission, the gorgeous south-central Texas road trip attraction boasts exotic plants, koi fish, lily ponds, and even a waterfall. The pavilion is a popular venue for weddings, and you can grab a snack at the Jingu House Cafe next door. 

 

McKinney Falls
5808 McKinney Falls Parkway Austin, TX 78744

Currently, McKinney Falls State Park is currently open for day visits of groups of fewer than 10 people. Check out the beautiful sights of Onion Creek along the hiking and biking trails. This is the perfect place to flex your photography skills! Kids can download a free Junior Ranger Activity Journal to follow along with, courtesy of Texas Parks & Wildlife.

 

Ms. Pearl the Squirrel Statue
137 Berdoll Loop Cedar Creek, Texas, 78612

Located just outside of Austin in Cedar Creek sits the world’s tallest squirrel statue, if that’s the sort of thing you’re into. The Berdoll Pecan Candy & Gift Company’s mascot is a towering 14-foot-tall squirrel, and boy is she happy to see you. Created in 2011 and christened “Ms. Pearl,” she makes for a great photo op and gives the Buc-ee’s beaver statues a run for their money. While you’re there, check out the Berdoll pecan orchard and gift shop.

14 Ways to Beat Houston Traffic

14 Ways to Beat Houston Traffic

Houston is known for many things. Among them: the rodeo, NASA, and traffic. 

Highway 290 is notorious for bumper-to-bumper traffic. The roads between I-10 and Westheimer are a nightmare. The West Loop’s chaos is enough to drive you loopy. 

It’s no wonder we have aggressive drivers. Traffic even takes a toll on your health, stressing you out and spiking your blood pressure. Studies show standstill traffic increases vehicle emissions and pollutes the air, leading to more health problems for drivers and individuals living near major roadways.

But with the city’s huge size and limited public transportation options, many Houstonians are forced to commute.

When you’re faced with that long, daunting trek to work and you’re searching for some solutions, you might hear a sarcastic response of “move closer.” But we’re here to offer some more in-depth help on how to beat Houston traffic.

Below we cover three main strategies for avoiding traffic in Houston: planning ahead, utilizing technology, and avoiding driving altogether! Read on to learn more about each tip.

 

― First Things First: Why is Houston Traffic So Bad? ―

 

More people, more problems.

Between 2010 and 2018, the Greater Houston metropolitan area saw the third largest population growth in the country. This brought the total to nearly 7 million residents.

Sprawling and crawling. 

Houston is seriously spread out. To put things in perspective, one Reddit user overlaid the whopping 88 mile loop of Beltway 8 over maps of other cities. (Check it out – Houston is roughly the same size as the entire island of O‘ahu!) While still technically within the city limits, some residents may live up to 30 miles away from this bustling inner loop, and even further from the heart of downtown.

Everything’s bigger.

Commercial 18 wheelers are a common sight on Houston highways – and so are catastrophic 18 wheeler accidents. Additionally, many people drive large vehicles. One report revealed the Ford F-150, the Chevy Silverado, and the RAM pickup trucks were the top three choices among Houston car buyers. Texans may also have boats or livestock trailers in tow as they head to coastal destinations or rural areas.

So how can Houstonians combat these facts of life?

 

― Plan Ahead ―

 

1. Avoid rush hour. 

This one’s obvious, but we don’t mean showing up an hour before your shift begins and twiddling your thumbs in the parking garage. How can you avoid Houston’s rush hour while still managing your time efficiently? 

  • What time is rush hour in Houston? The morning rush hour in Houston is between 7AM and 9AM. 
  • What time does traffic end in Houston? After a typical workday, Houston rush hour traffic begins as early as 4PM and dies down around 7PM. 
  • Squeeze in a workout. If there’s a gym nearby your office, leave home earlier in the morning to make time for a workout (and a shower!)
  • Schedule study time. If you’re a student commuting to campus, arrive early to cram in some morning study time and hang out in the library before classes begin.

2. Take a shortcut. 

If you know the back streets of Houston well enough, you can find some alternate routes that can save you time. But watch out for red lights on side streets – you might be able to zoom a few miles down the freeway in a matter of minutes, but if you venture into the side streets of the Heights or Montrose, be prepared to account for long wait times at stoplights.

3. Check the weather forecast. 

Always check the weather forecast when you wake up in the morning. If roads on your route are prone to flooding, have alternates in mind. If other inclement weather is brewing, prepare yourself for weather-related delays or accidents.

4. Plan around events.

One thing that’s a little more predictable than the weather: people. Whenever special events or conventions are taking place in Houston, traffic worsens. Highways near sports stadiums can be packed for hours before and hours after a game. Ensure your route does not bring you through a traffic jam of attendees. Additionally, be mindful of when school lets out and if you’ll go through any school zones on your route. No one wants to get stuck behind a school bus.

5. Modify your work schedule.

Leaving 15 minutes early can make all the difference. See if your employer will let you come into work earlier and leave earlier, effectively beating the Houston rush hour.

 

checking GPS in heavy traffic

― Technology is Your Friend ―

 

6. Check out TranStar’s Houston Traffic Map. 

TranStar’s Houston rush hour traffic map is a nifty resource, showing traffic updates in real time. Check in during different times of the day and see how things are going so you’ll know what to expect – and where to avoid.

7. Use Waze. 

In recent years, Waze has all but replaced radio traffic reports. It’s known for being the go-to map application for Uber drivers and Lyft drivers. With so much construction, Houston’s traffic patterns can be unpredictable, but thanks to its info being crowdsourced, Waze has an astute ability to look for alternate routes and notify you of upcoming traffic, construction zones, police, or accidents in realtime. Waze, Google Maps, Apple Maps, and many other GPS applications can also estimate future traffic predictions and ETAs, so you can check and plan ahead.

8. Get an EZ TAG and take the roll roads. 

Some people want to avoid toll roads whenever possible, but those paths might be able to significantly trim down your commute time. If there’s a toll road on your route, take a moment to do the math and see if the time you’ll save is worth the coinage you’ll drop. If you’ll be frequenting Houston’s toll roads, get an EZ TAG for added convenience. You can order one online and receive it by mail, or, if you don’t live in Houston and you’re just passing through, the EZ TAG Express mobile app lets you send electronic payments without having to apply a sticker or a chip to your car. Forget fishing for spare change in the cupholders: certain tollways, like Westpark Tollway and Katy Tollway, only accept payment via EZ TAG these days.

9. Download audiobooks and podcasts to listen to. 

Sometimes beating traffic doesn’t mean avoiding it, but enjoying it instead! Fill up your phone with audiobooks and podcasts that interest you, and use your commute productively by expanding your intellectual horizons.

 

Biking in Houston to avoid traffic

― Opt Out – Leave Your Car at Home ―

 

Want to know the #1 way to bypass Houston traffic? Don’t drive! The only way to truly alleviate traffic is to have fewer cars on our roads. While this goal ultimately requires better urban planning and public transportation systems, you can do your part today in one of the following ways:

 

10. Carpool. 

And get the added bonus of using the HOV lanes! Carpooling with coworkers, classmates, or friends will reduce pollution and save everyone gas money. You can also use rideshare services for carpooling.

11. Bike or skate.

Houston summers are rough, so we don’t blame you if you balk at this option. But riding a bicycle or skateboard can be a viable option for some commuters. You’ll save big on gas and, in the case of bumper-to-bumper traffic, you’ll save time, too! If you don’t have a bike of your own, check out BCycle Houston, a bikeshare program.

12. Drive to a METRO Park & Ride station. 

METRO Park & Ride offers direct nonstop service to downtown, the Texas Medical Center, and other major hubs from 26 parking lots across the city of Houston. Parking is free, but the METRO mobile app or a Q Card loaded with fare is required to ride.

13. Pack your lunch. 

The lunch rush – between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. – is a bit lighter and is mostly confined to Houston’s city streets instead of the freeways, but we’re sure you still want to avoid it. During a lunch break, every second counts!

14. Work from home. 

When all is said and done, you’ve got to admit there’s no better commute than that 5-step stumble from your bed to your home office. If it makes sense for your profession, speak with your employers and see if it’s possible to take your position partially or entirely remote.

 

― Save Time, Save Lives ―

 

We know time is precious. So precious, in fact, one Houston man set out to statistically analyze how much time he was wasting on his commute and tried to beat traffic with math! Another analysis revealed Houston was the 11th most congested city in the United States, with drivers wasting an average of 81 hours of their lives each year sitting in traffic.

There are ways every driver can avoid contributing to heavy road congestion, because in the end, nothing brings traffic to a screeching halt like a car accident. Approximately a dozen people lose their lives in Houston car accidents every week.

Don’t be part of the problem.

Obey speed limits, keep your eyes the road, and keep your hands on the wheel. Snacking or texting can wait. Every trip requires you to be calm, cautious, and alert, even if it’s the same route you take every morning!

Have you been hurt in a Houston traffic accident? Reach out to a car accident lawyer now for a free consultation.

Frequent Fatalities: Why Houston is the Deadliest Place to Drive

Frequent Fatalities: Why Houston is the Deadliest Place to Drive

Houston is a big, bustling city, but thanks to frequent roadwork, it’s also an eternal work-in-progress.

In our metropolitan melting pot, Houstonians are known for their pride. One label we might not be so proud of, however, is that of “deadliest major metro area for drivers in the country.” Look no further than reddit for proof of our aggressive habits. A quick glance at the forum brings up a plea from an out-of-towner: “What the hell is it with Houston drivers?” Over 600 comments and anecdotes follow.

Driver errors are responsible for most car accidents. Bad behaviors like speeding, rolling stops, and distracted driving put people in danger every day. 

But there’s more at play here. 

In order to answer the question “why is Houston traffic so bad?” we must first answer another:

 

― Why Are Houston Roads So Bad? ―

 

Houston has over 16,000 miles of streets, ferrying more traffic than it ever anticipated. Houston also has more car accidents than any other city in Texas. Approximately a dozen people lose their lives in Houston car accidents each week

Our city’s design is not without its flaws. The infrastructure around us is outdated, and it sometimes lays the groundwork for accidents waiting to happen.

 

― What Makes Houston Traffic So Dangerous? ―


…But what exactly makes Houston traffic so dangerous? Below we take a look at some of the culprits.

 

Long commutes.

Around 80% of Houstonians drive an average of 30 minutes each way to and from work. More time spent on the road means more chances of getting into a car accident, and long commutes can also contribute to driver fatigue and irritability. Check out our blog post on how to beat Houston traffic for some tips on avoiding that dreaded gridlock.

Risky road regulations.

In an attempt to move as many people as possible as quickly as possible, Houston’s roads are designed for maximum speed. In some areas – including portions of the Grand Parkway – the legal speed limit is a whopping 75 MPH.

Poor law enforcement.

Many politicians still remain staunchly opposed to automated enforcement methods. Texas state lawmakers have restricted use of speed cameras and video enforcement of red-light runners, and they’ve even banned sobriety checkpoints. Houston police officers wrote 41% fewer tickets in 2017 than they did in 2012, even though the number of vehicle miles traveled in Houston increased by 23%. To get more specific, Harris County issued 28% fewer speeding tickets in 2017 than in 2015, even though the county’s population had grown by 100,000.

No space for cyclists or pedestrians.

Let’s face it: the urban design of Houston favors cars over any other form of transportation. This forces cyclists and pedestrians to be closer to traffic than we’d like. The city has over 6,200 miles of road, but less than half of those miles have sidewalks, and Houston has fewer than 300 miles of on-street bike lanes. Texas bicycle accident deaths spiked 26% between 2017 and 2018, making this an issue in dire need of addressing.

Dangerous by design.

Houston drivers are still suffering from design decisions made decades ago. The tight curves of older freeway portions such as Loop 610 and Interstate 69 northeast of downtown force drivers to step on the brakes to avoid a barrier or railing. In merge lanes along frontage roads parallel to Interstate 10, you’ve got to keep an eye out for speeding cars that could appear from any direction. (9% of fatal crashes in the region occur on frontage roads.)

Intersection confusion.

Many spots along Westheimer and FM 1960 now sport a ton of shopping center entrances. From 2012 to 2016, 37% of crashes in nine Houston counties occurred at intersections like these. This represented more than 25% of all Houston fatalities. 

Roads in need of repair.

It’s no secret many Houston streets are dotted with potholes and haphazard asphalt patches. Our roads have several issues in need of some TLC, from faded lane markers to poor drainage. It’s a catch-22, though, as drivers are also inconvenienced by…

Road construction.

Locals often joke that the construction here is perpetual. Its unpredictable nature brings traffic to a crawl while also setting the stage for plenty of accidents. Road work on Richmond, west of Post Oak near the Galleria, is an especially notorious problem, and detours make those long commutes even more frustrating.

Outdated construction.

Many roads are old, outdated, and overwhelmed by the region’s booming growth. The ramps at Loop 610 and Interstate 69, for example, were built in 1979 and only renovated once, in 1999. As such, they are sharper than current construction standards would permit.

“Farm-to-market” roads.

Suburban development has changed how we use farm-to-market roads. Drivers zooming along FM 1960 now find themselves slamming on the brakes to avoid rear-ending people who are making sudden turns into residential or commercial spaces. This causes fatal wrecks. FM 1960 alone sees more than 60,000 vehicles per day and about a dozen deaths per year.

The woes of Westheimer.

Yep, this 19-mile-long road gets its own bullet point. The four-lane road starts in the congested Midtown area and opens wider farther west. The street carries approximately 74,000 vehicles a day. As Westheimer stretches downtown, its “slow lane” becomes so absurdly narrow that many drivers refuse to use it at all. This forces larger vehicles such as buses to use both lanes. (In fact, the Metropolitan Transit Authority instructs its drivers to “straddle for safety” along Westheimer.) However, Westheimer’s most severe accidents occur outside Loop 610, where it is newer and wider. Westheimer averages nearly four fatal crashes annually between Loop 610 and Highway 6, where the road’s volumes are heaviest. In 2005, the Texas Department of Transportation controversially added long medians to separate eastbound and westbound traffic in an effort to limit sudden turns. Now traffic flows better… but also faster. Emboldened by the opportunity for a straight shot, drivers speed from one intersection to the next. 

 

Cars on busy Houston highway

 

― Looking Ahead ―

 

So how do we stay safe? Residents fear change and often oppose any proposed modifications to streets in their areas, but our city is making progress, slowly but surely. When the MTA rebuilt Scott Street for light rail lines, it finally took pedestrians and bikers into consideration. Wider sidewalks have also been added to Shepherd.

There’s more hope on the horizon in the form of a proposed $7 billion rebuild of Interstate 45. The project aims to remove many of the downtown freeway system’s tightest turns and high-pressure mergers, which TxDOT consultants say lead to crashes and traffic.

When all is said and done, behavior still matters. Together we can break the stereotype of Houstonians as aggressive drivers. Every one of us has a responsibility to keep our road rage in check, to obey traffic laws, and, most importantly, to stay vigilant on the unpredictable roads running through the city we call home.

If you ever find yourself in a car accident, you can count on us to help We’re dedicated to finding the negligent party and holding them accountable, whether they’re a distracted driver, a corporation, or a city road crew. If you’ve been hurt in an accident, reach out to a car accident lawyer now for a free consultation.

Texas Traffic is Down – So Why Do Our Roads Remain Dangerous & Deadly?

Texas Traffic is Down – So Why Do Our Roads Remain Dangerous & Deadly?

In recent months, Houston, Austin, and the DFW areas have all seen a decline in traffic. 

With many of us working from home, we are self-isolating, ordering in, and skipping our commutes. Driving during a pandemic is an avoidable activity. Some car insurance companies are even offering refunds or discounted premiums during this time.

So as Texas traffic lightens up, why have road fatality statistics stayed practically the same?

In this blog, we’ll take a look at the numbers and the possible reasons behind them.

 

― Texas Traffic Accident Deaths: A Persistent Problem ―


Traffic isn’t just frustrating – it can be killer. The death toll for Texas car accidents is one we are all too familiar within our industry. In fact, the Texas Department of Transportation’s
#EndTheStreak campaign exists to combat a grim fact:

There has not been a death-free day on Texas roads since November 2000

On average, ten people die in car crashes every day in Texas. (Results are slightly skewed as well: some victims survive the crash but die in the hospital days later from their injuries.)

 

― Texas on Lockdown ―


Ever since coronavirus-related stay-at-home orders took effect,
Texas traffic decreased by approximately 50%. But between January 1st and April 15th, 2020, the number of car crashes only dropped between 11% – 15% compared to the same time period in 2019 in the Austin, Dallas Fort Worth, and Houston metros, according to recent data analysis conducted by Community Impact Newspaper

For example, here in Houston, Harris County alone had 32,096 car crashes between January 1st and April 15th of this year. During the same time period last year, there were 36,816 car crashes. That’s only a 13% percent drop. 

Why doesn’t the large drop in traffic correspond to an equally significant drop in accidents?

 

― Reckless Driving Behaviors ―


It all boils down to our behavior. Sure, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) encourages all drivers to
wear seatbelts and obey speed limits. But is that enough?  

Each year, the causes of tens of thousands of accidents are classified simply as “driver inattention.” Many preventable errors like swerving, weaving, drifting out of lanes, and tailgating are all found to be factors contributing to traffic deaths in Texas.

Plus, we’ve got a lot on our minds these days. We are more prone to distraction. We are more tempted to check that new text message that just dinged on our phone, thinking it could be a family member in crisis. 

Some drivers might not have been behind the wheel at all during these last several weeks – especially if a different family member had been appointed to go on grocery runs. Joking aside, we might actually be forgetting how to drive! Getting reacclimated can be difficult, especially at a time like this when many of our minds and bodies are already in a state of panic. 

We might even be feeling a little emboldened. The lack of other cars on the road might have some of us thinking “anything goes,” but now is not the time to go on a midnight joyride or do donuts in that Costco parking lot… no matter how much you need to blow off some steam.

 

Texas traffic accident scene

― Defensive Driving Tips for Tricky Texas Traffic ―


Defensive driving and road safety tips apply now more than ever.

Below are some rules and recommendations everyone should brush up on before they buckle up. Click each one for more info.

Always use your blinkers

when passing and turning, even if you think no one is behind you. If you’re about to pass an emergency vehicle stopped on the side of the road, Texas state law requires you to move over one lane or reduce your speed to 20MPH below the posted speed limit.

Come to a complete stop and look both ways

before entering intersections. Be on the lookout for bicycles and motorcycles.

Leave plenty of space

Social distancing recommends keeping six feet apart from others on foot, but remember to give all vehicles – especially large trucks – some breathing room, too! Every vehicle has blind spots, and lingering in them could be deadly. 

Road construction has not stopped

At any given time, there are as many as 3,000 active work zones in Texas. Exercise an extra dose of caution and slow down when passing road work crews and construction zones. Be aware of blocked-off roads or redirected lanes and detours.

Don’t text and drive

This one’s common sense. Texting and driving is illegal in Texas. A first offense is punishable by a fine of up to $99, and any subsequent offense carries a fine of up to $200.

Don’t drink and drive

You might not think this one applies, what with bars in Texas remaining closed until further notice and many of us snuggling up with our wine bottles at home. But in case of an emergency that requires you to go elsewhere, always have a designated driver.

Don’t drive if you’re tired

Everyone’s sleep schedules are unbalanced these days, with one day blurring into the next in quarantine. Don’t get behind the wheel if you’re feeling sleepy. You could become another statistic. In 2018, nearly 10,000 Texas car accidents were attributed to drivers being either fatigued or asleep.

Have an errand? Don’t make it a family affair

Fewer passengers means fewer distractions… and fewer risks for fatalities. If your family needs to stock up on household essentials or pick up a takeout order, send one driver – not the whole brood – to handle these errands. This also minimizes your risk of exposure to the coronavirus.

Don’t get stranded

The sad truth is, current precautions and social distancing measures mean people are now less likely to stop and help you if you’re stranded on the side of the road. If you have to go out, expect the unexpected. Make sure you are equipped with a full tank of gas, spare tire, jumper cables, and the knowledge to use them. You can also go all-out and put together a complete roadside emergency kit.

― Traveling During A Pandemic ―


“Should I travel during the coronavirus disease outbreak?”

“What travel precautions should I take during the coronavirus disease outbreak?”

We hear these questions from our clients often. With over 25,000 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus in Texas and over 660 deaths, we’re not out of the woods yet.

The Centers for Disease Control recommend anyone crossing state lines should remain quarantined for 14 days after arriving at their destination.

Keep in mind, air travel and cruises put you at far higher risk than driving.

Put simply, nonessential travel should be avoided.

 

― What’s Next for Texas Traffic Patterns? ―
 

On Monday, April 27th, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced his plans to allow businesses to reopen at limited capacity. This news means more drivers will be back on the road. But the streak of daily Texas car accident deaths is one norm we don’t want to return to.

In short: it is every Texas driver’s responsibility to make better decisions. Look out for your fellow Texan.

TxDOT says it best: “Be safe. Drive smart.

― Hurt in a Texas Car Accident? Help is Here. ―


If you were injured in a car accident, our Houston car accident lawyers are here for you.

Getting into a car accident now is even more stressful than usual. Bills are piling up, you may not have health insurance or steady income, and you may not know how to pay for medical care. 

We understand, and we’re here to help. 

Call us now at 713.804.7675 or submit your questions here for a free consultation. Get informed about your options.

You might not know about all the compensation you’re entitled to, but it’s our job to!

What to Do After A Fender Bender

What to Do After A Fender Bender

― 4 Steps to Follow When You’ve Been in a Fender Bender ―

Don’t surrender or lose your temper when a fender bender has rendered you injured!

…Did we lose you already with that tongue-twister? No? Great! Because we have some vital information that could help you.

Car accidents, no matter how minor, leave you feeling shook. With all the stress and shock swirling around in your head, it’s hard to know exactly what to do after a fender bender. 

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reports over 6 million traffic accidents each year in the United States, with 40% of them involving rear-end collisions. In fact, the National Safety Commission estimates that a rear-end collision happens every eight seconds. With stats like that, everyone is bound to get in a fender bender eventually.

What is a fender bender? Fender benders commonly occur in intersections, parking lots, or even drive-thrus. These mishaps usually involve being rear-ended and warping the bumper, fender, or frame of your car, hence the name. But don’t let that cute name fool you. Fender benders can seem unimportant compared to the more tragic car accidents you may see on the highway, but they’re not just an inconvenience that makes you run a little late for work. 

They can have hidden complications and serious consequences for both your body and your vehicle.

Below you’ll find important info related to these risks, plus recommendations on what to do in a fender bender.

 

1. Determine Liability

Determining liability means figuring out who to blame for a car accident and why they were legally at fault.

The person who hit you is probably eager to dodge hefty insurance rates, which go up after an accident. They may try to offer you cash in exchange for agreeing not to file a claim against them.

We all want to see the best in people, but let’s be real: it’s not wise to trust a total stranger who just hit your car. You should always call the police. You should always exchange insurance information, and use your phone to snap pictures of their license plate, license, and the damages.

If you are in a fender bender with a commercial vehicle, the company that owns the vehicle may be responsible for your damages.

Additionally, rideshare companies often have insurance, so if you’re in a fender bender with an Uber or a Lyft, you can seek compensation.

If the other driver fled the scene or you cannot get in touch with them, there’s still help available. Consult a car accident attorney to learn about your options. 

Don’t let someone else’s carelessness leave you in pain after a car accident.

2. Get Checked for Physical Injuries

Even if you walk away from the scene of the accident feeling fine, you need to be evaluated by a doctor. Aches and pains might take days to appear, but they could follow you for the rest of your life if they’re not treated properly and promptly. 

Common injuries after a fender bender:

Wrist or Arm Injury

When your hands are on your steering wheel – where they should be! – your wrists and arms absorb a lot of the impact of a fender bender. Wrist and arm injuries may need surgery or physical therapy and may prevent you from returning to work or doing the things you love. 

Airbag Injury

 If your airbags deploy, they may end up harming you in their attempt to protect you. Sometimes the force of an airbag can even break bones!

Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injuries can happen in the blink of an eye, but their impact on your life can be devastating. Severe cases of whiplash can actually cause your brain to hit the interior of your skull. You may also hit your head on your steering wheel or dashboard.

Back Injury

 The impact of a car accident can cause your spine to compress or misalign, which can get severely painful. You may even be left temporarily bedridden. 

Soft Tissue Injuries

Sometimes called “whiplash,” these are the most common injuries in fender benders. They’re also more serious than you think. Many soft tissue injuries require medical attention, physical therapy, and visits to a chiropractor to alleviate the pain. 

The good news is that rear-end settlements can be substantial, especially when injuries are involved.

3. Evaluate Property Damage

When you get into a minor accident, you might think you can skip the auto shop. You may assume your accident will be labeled “low impact,” or the damage to your car can be dismissed as “cosmetic” or “superficial.”

However, serious vehicle damage could result from a fender bender – meaning you could be stuck in serious trouble.

Just like how you could underestimate your physical damage after an accident, you may think you only have a scratched bumper or cracked taillight when you actually have a car with alignment issues, frame damage, or axle problems that could cost thousands to fix

Potential car troubles include:

Grille Damage

If someone backed into the front of your car, you likely have damage to your grille. (Grille damage accounts for more than 20% of all auto accident damage.) Control arm bushings or joints could also be damaged. 

Electrical Problems

Delicate electrical components are often knocked out of whack in fender benders too, causing problems with your wiring or battery. You could also face damage to your trunk or trunk latch or issues with your transmission or suspension.

Alignment Problems

Alignment problems can cause uneven tire tread wear, requiring a costly set of replacements. Your axis caster angle or tire camber could be thrown off. If you’re car-savvy enough to know what this means and how to fix it, good for you. But many drivers aren’t so lucky – and the person who hit them could be miles down the road before they notice the true extent of the damages.

Act now; save big. 

Underlying issues like these not only cost you money, they put you and your passengers in danger. With so many potential hidden concerns, you can’t know for sure until you get your car checked out by a professional.

When it comes to car trouble, prevention is the cure. A tiny bit of damage can snowball into a major complication if you don’t catch it in time.

Insurance companies also have time limits for reporting accidents. Err on the side of caution and call in your claim as soon as the fender bender happens, because, by the time the body shop gives you an estimate for your repairs, it may be too late to file your insurance claim.

Don’t gamble with your life. 

Have your car – and yourself! – thoroughly checked out after a fender bender. (By a mechanic and a doctor, respectively. Unless you’re a cyborg. Then you just need the one.)

If you’re worried about paying for these services or feeling overwhelmed by the complicated process of filing an insurance claim, we can help. In fact, many collision repair shops work directly with lawyers and insurance companies. Which brings us to our next step… 

4. Consult A Car Accident Attorney

Many people hesitate to get a lawyer involved in their case, but remember: just because you have a meeting with a car accident lawyer doesn’t mean you have to hire one! Many car accident attorneys offer 100% free case evaluations. The advice they provide can be crucial. You might not know all of your options, but it’s their job to!

Know your rights and make an informed decision about your next steps.

Contact one of our car accident attorneys today to receive expert legal counsel about your fender bender, absolutely free.