Tips for Driving Safely in Dallas

If you live or work in a big city, keeping yourself and your family protected on the road means practicing defensive driving. Dallas has a population approaching 2.5 million - and commuters come in every day from nearby areas. It's not surprising that the roadways are constantly filled with traffic. Heavy traffic means a higher risk of car crashes. In 2009, there were over 37,000 auto accidents in Dallas County. More than 7,400 drivers and passengers were seriously injured in these accidents. On average, there is a fatal car crash somewhere in Dallas every 2-3 days. Here are some tips for getting where you need to go safely.

Watch the Weather

Heavy rains and high winds are common in Dallas. These factors make the roads much more difficult to navigate. Here are some ways you can drive responsibly during stormy weather:

  • Take it slow – decrease your speed below the legal speed limit and leave extra distance between your car and the vehicle ahead of you.
  • Don't slam on the brakes – wet roads make skidding more likely. Whenever possible, decrease your speed by taking your foot off the accelerator before gently applying the brakes.
  • Use your headlights during even light rainstorms to increase visibility.
  • Don't drive through rushing water if you can’t easily see the road surface underneath. Avoid driving through standing water by staying in the center lanes.

For advice on driving in snow and ice during the 1-2 severe winter storms Dallas typically has per year, visit the Texas Department of Transportation website.

Pay Attention at Dangerous Intersections

Texas ranks fourth in the nation (per capita) for fatalities caused by drivers running red lights. Some intersections have a reputation for being especially dangerous according to red light camera data and auto insurance accident statistics. Here are just a few areas where you should be especially alert:

  • North Dallas Tollway @ Parker Road, Northwest Highway, Plano Parkway, TX-121
  • TX-121 @ Preston Road, Custer Road
  • Hebron Parkway @ Highway 121, Old Denton Road
  • Beltline @ MacArthur Boulevard, TX-183
  • I-635 @ Coit Road, I-35, Preston
  • Frankford Road @ Midway Road
  • Park Lane @ Preston Road

Check the Route

check the route

Traffic jams make drivers frustrated – leading to poor driving behavior including road rage. This means you need to plan proactively as part of your strategy for defensive driving.

Dallas, TX has a well developed road system, so there are usually several ways to get wherever you need to go. You can choose your route to avoid construction, accidents, lane closures, and slow traffic.

Before you get in the car, use your computer or smartphone to check sites like DFW Traffic or to figure out which roads to avoid.