Accidents involving pedestrians and motor vehicles are often devastating and result in high numbers of injuries and fatalities. Pedestrian accidents have risen across Texas for the last few years.
The medical costs associated with pedestrian injuries can be astronomical because pedestrians aren’t as well-protected as the drivers in these accidents. As pedestrian accident attorneys with over 30 years of experience dealing with car accidents, we’d like to clarify a few things about pedestrian accidents in Texas and ways you can protect your life and those around you.
Why Are There So Many Pedestrian Accidents and Fatalities in Texas?
In 2023, the United States hit a 40-year high in pedestrian deaths nationwide. For comparison, over 7,500 pedestrians were killed in fatal car accidents in 2022. Texas pedestrian accidents alone claim a large number of lives. In a study that took place from 2016 to 2020, there were over 3,000 pedestrian deaths in Texas.
Texas also recorded over 800 pedestrian deaths in a year out of 5,370 car accidents involving crashes in 2021. These numbers are extremely concerning to the Texas Department of Transportation and organizations like Vision Zero, who are constantly working to improve roadways to make them more pedestrian-friendly and safer for everyone.
But safe, walkable roadways aren’t the only reason for pedestrian accidents. A few other causes of pedestrian injuries or fatalities in Texas within the past few years are:
- Pedestrians or vehicles did not yield the right-of-way to each other
- The pedestrian was lying or standing on the road
- Either the driver or the pedestrian (or both) was under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- A motor vehicle made a turn and ran into crossing pedestrians at an intersection
In general, southern states tend to have higher rates of pedestrian accidents. Some theories assume that with the usually nicer weather, more people might choose to walk. Regardless, there are things everyone can do to prevent these injuries and deaths.
What Can Texas Pedestrians Do to Protect Themselves From Injury?
Pedestrians must protect themselves by following all traffic laws. Not only are devastating injuries common for pedestrians, but in the chance that a hit-and-run accident occurs, or if the driver of the vehicle is uninsured, it may be difficult for pedestrians to gain compensation for medical bills. Always protect yourself. Take a look at these guidelines when it comes to the roadway:
- Cross in designated crossing areas only when instructed; do not try to dash across a street.
- Do not use drugs or alcohol if you intend to go walking. Many pedestrian fatalities occur when either the driver or the pedestrian is under the influence.
- Use sidewalks when available and avoid walking along the roadside; if there is no sidewalk, make sure you’re walking on the right-hand side of the road.
- When crossing a street, make eye contact with the driver to ensure they see you and acknowledge your crossing.
- Don’t walk on highways and interstates. Not only is this illegal, but it’s also where many pedestrian accidents happen.
- Do not linger when crossing the road. Once you’re sure the cars are stopped, cross quickly and with purpose.
- Avoid walking near roads at night. If you need to walk after sundown, wear bright or reflective gear to be more visible to drivers.
These suggestions help you take your safety into account; however, accidents may still occur. If you are hit, make sure you seek medical attention at once. Additionally, drivers also need to do their part.
What Can Texas Drivers Do to Protect Pedestrians and Themselves?
Texas drivers can save lives by remembering to be mindful of pedestrians and following safety traffic laws.
- Be cautious when making turns. Make sure that all pedestrians have safely crossed before turning.
- Do not drive while drowsy.
- Do not drive while distracted.
- Don’t speed; while this is the law, going slower also gives you more time to react to unexpected situations, such as a pedestrian darting across the road.
- Do not use drugs or alcohol when driving.
- Follow all traffic laws.
Because drivers have the advantage of a car to protect them, they must be constantly alert for dangerous situations.
Contact the Car Accident Lawyers at Pastrana & García Injury Law
Our Pflugerville car accident lawyers understand that dealing with injuries or losses from a car accident can be extremely difficult.