Pedestrian Accident Fatalities Jumped 5% Across Texas in 2019
Going for a stroll has become a dangerous pursuit in Texas, where the number of fatal pedestrian accidents continued to rise in 2019.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), 5,975 traffic crashes involving pedestrians occurred in Texas that year, resulting in 669 deaths. That’s a 5% increase in fatalities compared to the previous year.
Pedestrians Account for 1 in 5 Texas Crash Deaths
“From 2015 to 2019, traffic crashes claimed the lives of 3,150 pedestrians,” TxDOT Executive Director James Bass said in a statement. “To reach our goal of zero deaths on Texas roadways we need all drivers to obey the rules of the road, stay alert and take responsibility for looking out for pedestrians, and for pedestrians to follow safety tips.”
Pedestrian deaths now account for 1 out of every 5 traffic fatalities that occur in the state annually. Crash reports from law enforcement suggest the leading causes of pedestrian deaths in Texas include:
- Pedestrians failing to follow traffic safety laws and being struck when crossing streets and roadways,
- Motorists failing to yield the right of way, driving distracted, or driving too fast.
Alcohol also is a factor in pedestrian-related crashes, deaths, and injuries.
Texas Among Worst States for Pedestrian Accident Deaths
According to a recent report from Smart Growth America, Texas currently ranks 10th among all 50 states for the highest pedestrian risk. The area encompassing Houston-The Woodlands-Sugarland ranked 18th among the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan regions for pedestrian risk, while El Paso came in at number 20th.
Other Texas metro regions in the top 100 include:
- McAllen-Edinburg-Mission (#27)
- San Antonio-New Braunfels (#28)
- Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington (#31)
- Austin-Round Rock (#46)
Tips for Avoiding Pedestrian Accidents
To reduce the number of pedestrian deaths and injuries, TxDOT is asking drivers to:
- Yield the right of way to pedestrians when turning.
- Always stop for pedestrians at crosswalks.
- Proceed cautiously when passing stopped buses or other vehicles.
- Pay attention and put your phone away—pedestrians may enter your path suddenly.
- Obey the speed limit and drive to conditions.
Pedestrians can reduce their risk of an accident by:
- Crossing the street only at intersections and crosswalks. Look left, right, then left again before crossing.
- Making eye contact with drivers before crossing. Don’t assume drivers see you.
- Obeying all traffic and crosswalks signals.
- Using the sidewalk. If there isn’t one, walk on the left side of the road, facing oncoming traffic.
- When walking, put away electronic devices that take your eyes and ears off the road.
- Wearing bright clothing during the day and reflective materials or use a flashlight at night
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