According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a pedestrian was killed every 85 minutes in traffic collisions across the nation last year, and another 76,000 were injured in pedestrian accidents nationwide.
The Governors Highway Safety Association reported over 6,700 pedestrian deaths that accounted for 17% of all traffic-related fatalities over the same period, which indicates a fundamental problem with driver safety throughout the United States.
In Austin, pedestrian accidents, injuries, and fatalities are primary traffic concerns, as the University of Texas and St. Edwards University have returned to hosting in-person classes, sporting events, and conferences after COVID.
Adding to the persistent pedestrian traffic throughout Austin is the return of South By Southwest, or SXSW, from March 11 – 20, 2022, which is expected to welcome over 400,000 people to the city for conferences, music, comedy, exhibits, and entertainment.
Our personal injury attorneys in Austin know that whether you live in Austin year-round, or are here for school or entertainment, pedestrian safety is important to the livelihoods of locals and visitors alike.
Here are a few tips for staying safe while on foot in Austin.
Distracted Drivers Cause Pedestrian Accidents, Injuries & Fatalities Throughout Austin
The Centers for Disease Control reported that reading or sending a text message behind the wheel of a car takes the driver’s eyes off the road for approximately five seconds. That makes distracted driving one of the most common causes of pedestrian injuries and fatalities throughout the nation.
Other common causes of pedestrian accidents include:
- Alcohol or drug-impaired driving
- Failing to obey traffic signs and signals
- Lack of sleep or exhaustion
- Making improper turns
- Speeding or reckless driving
Impatient, impaired, or speeding drivers can cause catastrophic pedestrian accidents, injuries, and fatalities when they do not yield the right of way or use roads that are blocked for pedestrian use only.
In 2014, a drunk driver tore through the crowd at SXSW, running over people and hitting other cars. Four people were killed, and more than 20 others were injured.
The driver was found guilty of capital murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole.
When drivers are not looking out for pedestrians, people are going to get hurt. Fortunately, several walking safety tips can help locals, visitors, and college students remain safe while traversing Austin on foot.
Top Walking Safety Tips for Navigating Austin, Texas
Negligent drivers can take anyone on foot by surprise, causing significant injuries and tragic fatalities without notice.
There are multiple ways walkers can remain diligent and safe while traversing the city of Austin.
- Following the rules of the road and obeying traffic signs and signals
- Crossing streets at crosswalks or intersections, or in a well-lit location when they are not available
- Looking for cars in all directions, including those turning left or right when crossing the road
- Walking on sidewalks whenever they are available, or facing traffic and keeping a safe distance when they are not available
- Waiting for gaps in traffic that allow enough time to cross safely
- Watching for cars entering and exiting parking lots or driveways
With colleges, festivals, and the variety of entertainment options available in Austin, pedestrians have easy access to all the city has to offer. In fact, they also have the option to ride electric scooters to make the last mile of their trips safely.
When they do, safety is paramount to making it to their destination without injury.
Top Scooter Riding Safety Tips for Navigating Austin, Texas
Electric scooters are a popular transit option for students who need to get across campus quickly, for locals who are grabbing dinner or drinks with friends, or for visitors who are enjoying SXSW or Austin’s incredible dining, shopping, and entertainment options year-round.
Unfortunately, e-scooters can also be dangerous when riders are not doing all they can to ensure their safety.
Here are a few tips for remaining safe while riding:
- Inspect the scooter before riding, to ensure all components are working properly
- Always keep your eyes on the road while riding, and avoid checking your phone or becoming distracted by your surroundings
- Keep both hands on the handlebars during the ride
- Never ride on the sidewalks, but with traffic while on the road
- Slow down before looking back or turning to avoid colliding with vehicles or pedestrians
Even when pedestrians and scooter riders are doing all they can to remain safe on our Austin sidewalks and roadways, other distracted, speeding or impaired drivers can cause serious accidents, injuries, and fatalities without notice.
If a negligent driver has impacted your life, we can help you hold the liable party responsible for your financial recovery.
Our managing attorney and law firm founder, Glen Larson, has represented injured Texans — and injury victims throughout the United States — for more than 15 years with one important goal: To pursue dedicated driven results for the injured on a contingency basis, so our clients pay nothing unless we win their cases.
Contact Our Skilled Pedestrian Accident Attorneys in Austin at Glen Larson Law Injury Attorneys Today
If you have been hurt in an accident of any type that was caused by negligence in Texas, call our skilled Austin personal injury attorneys at Glen Larson Law Injury Attorneys at (512) 883-0277 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation.
We pursue dedicated, driven results for our clients, and there is never a charge to talk to an attorney. We stand ready to help you. Call ((512) 883-0277 today.