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Houston Among Nation’s Worst Metro Regions for Deadly Pedestrian Accidents

Texas Personal Injury Lawyers | Houston in Top 20 for Deadly Pedestrian Accidents

The streets throughout the Houston Metro Region are apparently among the most dangerous in the nation for pedestrians.

Houston Metro Region Ranks #18 for Pedestrian Risk

According to a recent report from Smart Growth America, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that argues for more equitable and environmentally conscious city design, the Metro Region encompassing Houston-The Woodlands-Sugarland now ranks 18th among 100 metropolitan areas for pedestrian risk.

That’s a significant jump since the group released its previous report two years ago when the region didn’t even make the Top 20.

Among major metro areas, those with a population of 3 million or more, only Tampa and Miami ranked higher than Houston this time around.  At number 20, El Paso was the only other Texas city to make the Top 20.

Texas 10th Most Dangerous State for Pedestrian

Texas ranked 10th among all 50 states for the highest pedestrian risk.

According to The Houston Chronicle, the new report only confirms what safety advocates and city officials have long known: Too many streets are dangerous for anyone not driving a car. This is especially true in lower-income areas where much of the population lacks automobiles.

“We won’t see the safety trends change until we find ways to equitably change our transportation design systems,” said Jonathan Brooks, director of policy and programming for LINKHouston.

Smart Growth America’s 2021 “Dangerous by Design” report compared pedestrian crashes from 2010 to 2019 among the states and metro areas to assess risk. A record 90 pedestrian crashes were reported in Houston in 2019 alone.

Past Decade Saw Pedestrian Deaths Surge 45% Nationwide

During the decade covered by the report, the number of people struck and killed by drivers nationwide while walking increased by a stunning 45%. Over the course of those years, 53,435 pedestrians died after being hit by a motor vehicle.

The four most recent years on record (2016-2019) now rank as the four worst for pedestrian deaths since 1990. In 2019, the 6,237 people struck and killed across the United States is the equivalent of more than 17 people killed per day.

“While transportation agencies have done much to avoid doing so, we urgently need to change the way we design and build roads to prioritize safety, not speed, as we currently do. In fact, the obsession with keeping traffic moving and avoiding delay at all costs in hopes of saving drivers mere seconds creates the very dangers highlighted in this report,” said Beth Osborne, transportation director for Smart Growth America. This is why crosswalks are missing or too far apart, why lanes are too wide, why intersections are difficult to cross on foot, and why money can always be found to widen a road, even when adding sidewalks is deemed ‘too expensive.’”

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