Stay Safe On Austin's Roadways

While Austin's accident rates don't rank close to cities like Dallas, Fort Worth, and San Antonio, there were still over 15,000 car crashes in 2009 in Travis County. About 1 out of every 160 accidents in the county resulted in a fatality. Most motor vehicle crashes are car-on-car (or car-on-motorcycle), but some accidents involve bicycle riders. If you’ve ever been to an Austin driving school, you've probably heard discussions about the challenges of driving in a city where bicycling is popular.

The sad fact is that there are over 50,000 bicycle accidents in the U.S. each year. In Austin, most bicycle traffic accidents resulting in injury happen in the city (fatalities are most common along I-35). Even in areas of the city that have clearly marked bike lanes, there are still extra driving safety precautions you should take to keep from causing a serious injury or fatality.

Common Behaviors Leading to Collision with Cyclists

The same motorist behaviors that typically cause collisions with another car also tend to cause crashes between a car and a bicycle.

  • Failing to yield at an intersection
  • Running a red light or stop sign
  • Not paying attention while driving
  • Forgetting to look both ways

To reduce the chances of an accident:

  • Give cyclists plenty of room when you pass them. They may need to swerve around a sewer grate that you don’t even notice.
  • Change lanes well before you catch up to a cyclist so the drivers in the cars behind you have time to see the cyclist and adjust their speed or change lanes as well.
  • Double check your side mirror and your blind spot before making a right turn since there may be a cyclist between you and the curb.

Intersections You Should Know

In any large city, there are several intersections that will test your skills in defensive driving. Austin, TX has its share. According to statistics collected by the Texas Department of Transportation, these are:

  • I-35 @ Stassney Lane, Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Rundberg Lane, 11th St, Parmer Lane, 15th St
  • Lakeline Mall Drive @ Research Boulevard
  • North Lamar Boulevard @ Anderson Lane
  • Parmer Lane @ MoPac
  • Cameron Road @ Ed Bluestein Boulevard
  • Riverside Drive @ Wickersham Lane
  • Ed Bluestein Boulevard @ Loyola Lane

Keep Up to Speed with Austin Traffic

keep up to speed

To help you keep a cool head in traffic, use sites like and to identify areas of congestion or crashes before leaving home or the office.