October is National Pedestrian Safety Month

Tragically, pedestrian deaths account for 20% of all traffic fatalities on Texas highways, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.

Last year alone there were 5,366 crashes involving pedestrians in Texas, resulting in 841 deaths, an increase of 15% from the previous year, TxDOT data shows. Another 1,470 people were seriously injured in traffic accidents involving pedestrians.

To help reduce these accidents, injuries, and fatalities, TxDOT is launching its Be Safe. Drive Smart campaign this week to urge drivers and pedestrians to follow traffic safety laws and help keep each other safe.

Glen Larson Law personal injury Attorneys want to help spread the word to bring awareness to these rising pedestrian accident statistics and provide a few safety tips that can help keep everybody safe during National Pedestrian Safety Month, and throughout the entire year.

Pedestrian Accidents are Bigger than the State of Texas

Texas saw the third-most pedestrian deaths in 2021 (841), behind California (958) and Florida (938), respectively, and the fifth-highest number of pedestrian deaths in the top ten most populous states, up 24.8% from 2019.

Across the nation, pedestrian accidents painted an equally grim picture.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that a pedestrian was killed every 81 minutes in traffic crashes across the U.S. last year.

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, pedestrian traffic deaths increased by 54% between 2010 and 2020. An estimated 7,400 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes across the country in 2021, an 11.5% increase from the previous year — the largest number of pedestrian fatalities in 40 years.

Driver and Pedestrian Safety Tips to Help Reduce Accidents, Injuries & Fatalities

The Texas Department of Transportation’s latest safety campaign reminds us that, “Pedestrians are among the most vulnerable road users because they aren’t equipped with protective equipment such as airbags, seat belts, and bumpers,” TxDOT wrote in a warning.

“All of us share the responsibility to follow the rules of the road and bring the number of pedestrian fatalities to zero.”

TxDOT issued the following advice for pedestrians in Texas:

  • Cross the street only at intersections or crosswalks. Look left, right, and then left again before crossing.
  • If a crosswalk or intersection is not available, locate a well-lit area where you have the best view of traffic. Wait for a gap in traffic that allows enough time to cross safely; continue watching for traffic as you cross.
  • Obey all traffic and crosswalk signals.
  • Walk on sidewalks whenever they are available. If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible.
  • Make eye contact with any drivers before crossing. Do not assume drivers can see you.
  • When walking, put away electronic devices that can distract you.
  • Watch for cars entering or exiting driveways or backing up in parking lots.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs when walking; they impair your abilities and your judgment.

TxDOT also issued the following advice for drivers in Texas:

  • Look out for pedestrians everywhere, at all times.
  • Be extra cautious when backing up and look for pedestrians.
  • Slow down and be prepared to stop when turning or otherwise entering a crosswalk.
  • Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and stop well back from the crosswalk to allow other vehicles to see the crossing pedestrians so they can stop too.
  • Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. There may be people crossing where you cannot see.
  • Never drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
  • Follow the speed limit, especially around people on the street, in school zones, and in neighborhoods where children are present.

If you have suffered an injury or lost a loved one to negligence during a pedestrian accident in Texas, call our skilled Austin pedestrian accident attorneys at Glen Larson Law at (512) 883-0277 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation.

There is never a charge to talk to an attorney, and we have a no recovery, no fee guarantee. We stand ready to help you.

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