Do the New Dallas Toll Roads Actually Make the Roads Safer?
The use of toll roads in Texas is more common than in many other parts of the country, where you will now find approximately 25 toll roads throughout the state. The use of toll roads has become much more common in recent years, particularly around many urban areas such as Dallas. In part, these toll roads are due to the state’s relatively low gasoline tax, which would otherwise fund the construction and upkeep of highways, but can also be attributed to the significant population growth over the past few years which further stresses an aging infrastructure.
The North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA) is the organization that maintains and operates toll roads, bridges, and tunnels in North Texas, which includes the Dallas-Fort Worth area. In total, the NTTA operates nearly 1,000 tolled lane miles, which means you will more than likely encounter these tolls at some point or another as you travel throughout the region.
There have been many arguments made touting the benefits of building more toll roads, not only in Texas, but throughout the country. According to a study by the Texas Transportation Institute, traffic congestion costs Americans more than $100 billion per year, leading to more than 4.8 billion additional travel hours and the consumption of an extra 1.9 billion gallons of fuel.
Some of the main benefits attributed to toll roads are:
– Toll roads can be built at no cost to taxpayers, since the roads are funded by user fees.
– Technology can ensure free flowing traffic by the use of transponders to pay tolls and even variable pricing, which adjusts based on current demand in order to encourage or discourage drivers.
– Increased fuel economy and reduced pollution due to congestion and stop-and-go traffic, which causes the unnecessary consumption of additional fuel and reduces local air quality.
However, one of the biggest questions about toll roads is whether or not they actually lead to increases in safety for motorists. Numerous studies have found that toll roads do indeed lead to safer conditions for drivers, which can be attributed to a number of different factors.
First and foremost, toll roads see less traffic and congestion compared to their non-tolled counterparts, and free-flowing traffic reduces the number of accidents.
Secondly, toll roads usually see better maintenance, pavement, and technology designed to monitor road conditions. Plus, toll operators have a financial incentive to keep their roads functioning as safe and smoothly as possible.
These facts support the findings of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which found that toll facilities across the United States have a much lower fatality rate then U.S. roads overall.
While these new Dallas toll roads may improve safety, that does not mean that they are free of accidents or car wrecks. Unfortunately, any driver in the Dallas metropolitan area may one day find themselves involved in an auto accident, often through no fault of their own.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Dallas, whether on the toll roads or not, then you need the help of an experienced auto accident attorney like those at Fears Nachawati. Our firm has helped thousands of Texans following their auto accident, and we offer a free, no-obligation legal consultation to discuss the details of your accident and what an attorney can do for you. Give us a call at (866) 705-7584 or pay us a visit at our Dallas office on Greenville Avenue. Offices are also available in Houston, Austin, Fort Worth, and San Antonio.