A fatal box truck accident in Houston, Texas shut down the Grand Parkway as the Memorial Day weekend began. The accident occurred around 4:30 pm in North Harris County near SH-249 and Highway 99 Road when a box truck collided with another vehicle and one person was pronounced dead at the scene after vehicles sustained heavy damage. Emergency crews responded to the scene, however, traffic is being diverted due to extensive debris and to conduct an investigation into the fatal accident.
As the Memorial Day weekend approaches, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is warning drivers about the dangers of the road during this holiday. The Memorial Day weekend, which marks the beginning of the 100 deadliest days of summer, has been a historically deadly time on Texas roads, with numerous accidents that often lead to fatalities. According to TxDOT, in 2020 alone, there were 9 fatalities, 66 serious injuries, and 185 minor injuries reported during the Memorial Day weekend.
It is essential for the motoring public in Texas to be aware of the risks and take precautions while driving during this period. Here are some tips to help you stay safe on the road:
1. Plan your trip in advance: Before you hit the road, plan your trip carefully. Know your route, and check traffic updates for any road closures or detours that might affect your journey. Also, make sure your vehicle and tires are in good condition and have been serviced recently.
2. Buckle up: Wearing a seatbelt is essential for your safety. Make sure everyone in the vehicle is buckled up, and children are properly restrained in car seats or booster seats.
3. Avoid distractions: Distracted driving is a significant cause of accidents. Avoid using your phone while driving, and keep your eyes on the road at all times.
4. Observe speed limits: Speeding is a common cause of accidents. Observe the speed limit, and slow down in areas where there is heavy traffic, construction, or bad weather.
5. Never drink and drive: Driving under the influence of alcohol is dangerous and illegal. If you plan to drink, designate a sober driver or use a ride-sharing service.
If you are involved in an accident on the road or while on vacation, here are some steps you should take:
1. Check for injuries: Check yourself and your passengers for injuries and call for medical assistance if necessary.
2. Move to a safe location: If possible, move your vehicle to the side of the road or a safe location to avoid blocking traffic. This cannot be overemphasized on a freeway, interstate highway, or busy street where you are at risk of getting hit even again, possibly more severely.
3. Call 911: Call the police and report the accident. Stay on the line until you have provided all the necessary information.
4. Exchange information: Exchange insurance and contact information with the other driver(s) involved in the accident, unless it is not safe to do so.
5. Document the scene: Take pictures of the accident scene, including damage to the vehicles, the license plates of the other vehicle, road conditions, and any injuries sustained.
During the 100 deadliest days of summer, the Texas police have initiated several campaigns to curb accidents on the road. These initiatives include increased patrols, sobriety checkpoints, and campaigns such as "Click-it or Ticket" to educate the public on safe driving practices.
While staying safe on the road is essential, there are also plenty of fun things to do during the Memorial Day weekend. Here are some ideas:
1. Visit a state park: Texas has some of the most beautiful state parks in the country, and the Memorial Day weekend is an excellent time to explore them.
2. Attend a barbecue: Barbecues are a Texas tradition, and many communities host barbecues and cookouts during the Memorial Day weekend.
3. Go to a parade: Many communities have parades to mark Memorial Day, and these can be a fun way to celebrate the holiday.
4. Watch a movie: If you want to relax indoors, why not catch a movie or binge-watch your favorite TV show?
In conclusion, the Memorial Day weekend can be a fun and exciting time, but it is also a time of increased risk on the roads. By taking precautions and following safe driving practices, you can help ensure a safe and enjoyable holiday for yourself and others. Remember to stay alert, buckle up, and never drink and drive. Happy Memorial Day!