Pedestrian safety is a rising concern for Texas, as the fatality rate for pedestrians rose 12% last year. According to statistics from the Governors Highway Safety Association, Texas had one of the worst fatality rates for pedestrians in 2018 — ranking third highest in the country behind California and Florida.
Pedestrians and drivers alike need to understand the risk factors of pedestrian fatalities, how to keep our pedestrians safe, and what to do when a collision occurs. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about Texas car and pedestrian crashes.
Know the Risks: Pedestrian Fatality Risk Factors
All pedestrians should take steps to stay safe, but factors like age, location, and time of day can increase your risk exponentially.
- Pedestrian Age: Seniors 65+ and children under 15 are most at risk. In 2016, 20% of children under 15 killed in traffic fatalities were pedestrians.
- Time of Day: Most pedestrian fatalities occur at night due to drowsy drivers, decreased visibility, and alcohol consumption.
- Walking Location: Pedestrians in the cities are more at risk than rural walkers. And most city pedestrian fatalities occur in non-intersection settings.
- Alcohol Involvement: Almost half of all fatal pedestrian crashes involved alcohol — not necessarily a drunk driver. Even minor intoxication (on the part of the driver or pedestrian) can significantly increase the fatality risk.
- Driving Speed: Predictably, the driver’s speed increases both the chance of a pedestrian crash and the risk of a fatality.
“Texas officials know they have a serious problem regarding pedestrian safety and are making efforts to reduce the statewide epidemic. The state is focusing on both educational outreach and physical safety improvements.”
10 Ways You Can Improve Pedestrian Safety
Besides highlighting safe pedestrian walking practices, the following tips also include ways to negate the risk factors mentioned above.
- Use sidewalks whenever available.
- No sidewalk? Walk on the left side of the road facing traffic.
- Yield to vehicles when crossing at a non-designated pedestrian crossing area.
- Try to make eye contact with drivers before crossing.
- Passengers should exit and enter a vehicle on the curbside.
- Help elderly pedestrians cross the street.
- Teach your kids to look “left, right, left” before crossing a road.
- Set a good example for your kids by not using your phone or other devices while crossing the street.
- Don’t let children under ten cross the road alone.
- Wear reflective gear when walking at night or in the early morning.
Texas Officials Taking Efforts to Improve Pedestrian Safety
Texas officials know they have a serious problem regarding pedestrian safety and are making efforts to reduce the statewide epidemic. The state is focusing on both educational outreach and physical safety improvements.
Some of their initiatives include:
- Building more complete sidewalk networks
- Engineering safer crosswalks and pedestrian “Walk” signals
- Providing early childhood safety education
- Developing pedestrian and bicyclist outreach programs
Texas Pedestrian Crash Results in a Lifetime of Medical Care
Pedestrian crashes can be devastating. In December 2016, a delivery truck driver ran down a pedestrian on his way home from work, breaking his legs and causing a traumatic brain injury that resulted in a lifetime of medical monitoring and care. Crosley Law Firm was able to represent the victim and through their attention to detail, dedication to justice, and cutting-edge litigation techniques, we were able to settle the claim for more than a million dollars in less than 18 months.
Not all pedestrian crashes are as life-changing, but victims should always seek medical treatment and legal representation after a crash. There are also a few other steps to take after a pedestrian crash.
RELATED CLIENT STORY: Zack’s Story: Speeding Delivery Driver Hits a Pedestrian in Texas
Checklist: What to Do If You’ve Been Hit as a Pedestrian
- Move out of the street to a safe area
- Call the police to report the crash and wait for them to arrive
- Keep the driver at the scene to wait for the police
- Collect the driver’s insurance and vehicle information
- Collect the names and contact numbers of any witnesses
- Take photos of the scene and involved vehicle
- Seek medical attention at the ER or with your primary physician
- Contact a personal injury attorney
- Start an insurance claim with your attorney’s assistance
- Work with your attorney to develop your personal injury case
Call Crosley Law for Help With Your Pedestrian Injury Claim
Did you know that if you are hit while jaywalking, a judge may rule that the driver is not liable? Furthermore, the driver’s auto insurance might not even cover your injuries. Something that seems so straightforward is actually a complex case involving both motor vehicle traffic and pedestrian laws — and an array of other factors.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a pedestrian in Texas, do not assume that a judge will see the situation as plainly as you do. Speak with the experienced San Antonio personal injury attorneys at Crosley Law about your case before you contact the insurance companies or file a personal injury claim.
Pedestrian Safety. (2017, May 24). CDC National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/pedestrian_safety/index.html
Spotlight on Highway Safety – Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State. (2019). Governor’s Highway Safety Administration. Retrieved from https://www.ghsa.org/sites/default/files/2019‑02/FINAL_Pedestrians19.pdf
Traffic Safety Facts – Pedestrians. (2018, March). National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Retrieved from https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812493
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.