One thing we in Houston are unfortunately used to is traffic. Most of us spend an awful lot of time driving in it and too many of us are victims of traffic accidents at one point in our lives. It is the price we pay for living in a city that requires a vehicle to get around.
But if you are going to take your life into your own hands and hit the highway every day, it might make good sense to find out where the more dangerous spots are on the roads, and one local attorney, Stewart Guss, has created an embeddable interactive traffic map. Using data from Houston and surrounding counties, he has compiled traffic accident locations on a Google map and offers it for anyone to use on his Web site.
It's a fairly simple concept, but well executed. The Google maps, with their familiar controls, have hotspots added to them that, when clicked, reveal various locations around the Houston area where accidents have occurred. The data can be limited to a specific county and even a specific year from 2007 through 2011.
A quick drilldown on a given location immediately shows that, for example, in 2011 there were four fatality accidents near the intersection of the Southwest Freeway and Westpark Drive, two of which involved alcohol. Note to self: Avoid that damn intersection.
Each accident, when clicked, has some limited information on what happened, including the reason behind it. It makes it very easy to see just where and when accidents tend to occur around the city, giving drivers the ability to avoid those areas whenever possible.
The map is embeddable through a script on the Web site (you can see an example of it below), which is handy if you want it dropped into a blog or something similar. But even on its own, it makes for extra help when it comes to navigating the nightmare of Houston traffic and, hopefully, avoiding an accident.
Courtesy of Stewart J. Guss Houston Personal Injury Attorney