Texas, along with 25 other states, experienced a record number of auto-pedestrian accidents and fatalities in 2015. This is part of a steady increase in these types of accidents the past decade.
A Record-Setting Year for Pedestrian Fatalities
According to preliminary 2015 data from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), there was an overall 10% increase in pedestrian fatalities compared to the 2014 data.
In addition to the increased number of pedestrian fatalities, the overall percentage of motor vehicle accident-related fatalities involving pedestrians has risen. The 2015 data shows that 15% of all traffic accident deaths involved a pedestrian, compared to 11% a decade ago.
Large urban areas, like those in California, Florida, Texas, and New York, had the most pedestrian deaths, accounting for 42% of all pedestrian fatalities from January to June 2015. During that time period, Texas had the third highest number of pedestrian deaths in the country — at 235 people.
The Insurance Council of Texas reported that Austin, Dallas, and Houston had record high numbers of car-pedestrian accidents that resulted in a fatality. In 2014, Texas overall had 1.77 deaths per 100,000 people. The preliminary data from the 2015 report unfortunately indicates that new record highs will likely be set again.
Causes of the Increase in Pedestrians Being Hit by Cars
A lot of factors may contribute to these troubling numbers. Increased use of mobile phones (by both drivers and pedestrians) and more vehicle travel overall contribute to this continued increase in accidents, the GHSA report found. Lack of sidewalks, adequate lighting, refuge islands, and road overpass infrastructure can also lead to unsafe walking conditions for pedestrians.
What Can You Do to Prevent Pedestrian Accidents?
There are steps you can take, as both a driver and pedestrian, to reduce the risk of an accident and ensure the safety of yourself and others around you.
- Do not use your cell phone at any time while driving — even if it’s hands-free.
- Be calm and level-headed behind the wheel.
- Do not multitask; focus all of your attention on the task at hand, whether driving or walking.
- Wear brightly colored, reflective clothing when walking outside, especially when light levels are low, like at dawn, at dusk, in inclement weather, at night, etc.
- Avoid using a cell phone, especially texting, while walking through an intersection.
- Anticipate the behavior of others — even though a pedestrian or cyclist might have the right of way, it is possible that drivers are not paying attention or looking out for pedestrians.
- Be patient and give grace to others.
While you can’t always predict the actions of others, you have complete control over your own actions and reactions. Practice safe driving and pedestrian behaviors to keep yourself and others safe.
Crosley Law Advocates for Victims of Careless Drivers
Each driving and pedestrian injury and death can be prevented. If you or someone you know has been the victim of a distracted or careless driver, Crosley Law Firm can help. As experienced personal injury lawyers, we work vigilantly for our clients to represent you with integrity, determination, and care. Please contact our law offices for a free consultation.
Pedestrian traffic fatalities by state [PDF]. (2015). Governors Highway Safety Administration. Retrieved from http://www.ghsa.org/files/pubs/spotlights/spotlight_ped2015.pdf
Wells, A. (2016, March 21). Pedestrian traffic fatalities rise. Insurance Journal. Retrieved from
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