pedestrian-traffic-deaths-in-texas-are-increasing
10/29/2019

Pedestrian Traffic Deaths in Texas Are Increasing - VB Attorneys

Written by Vuk Vujasinovic

The dangers of being a pedestrian in Texas

Walking around in the heavily urbanized parts of Texas, the ever-expanding suburbs surrounding our cities, or through our more rural communities, is becoming more and more dangerous for pedestrians. Data collected by the State Highway Safety Offices was used in a study conducted by the Governors Highway Safety Association, where it was reported that Texas was home to the third-highest number of pedestrian traffic fatalities in 2018. In a separate 2019 study, Smart Growth America calculated the Pedestrian Danger Index which measures how deadly it is for people to walk based on the number of people struck and killed by drivers while walking. This study ranked Texas as the 8th deadliest place for pedestrians to walk in the US.

 

Why have Texas roads become so dangerous?

We know that Texas roads are becoming increasingly dangerous for walking commuters (and cyclists) but why? Despite all of the studies that have been conducted, the underlined cause of the increasing danger has yet to be determined. Although there are no definitive answers, there are several factors that have contributed to the increase in pedestrian traffic fatalities in Texas.

There’s an increase in distracted drivers 

In today’s day and age, people, and consequently, drivers, are living lives full of distractions. Every time we drive we share the road with distracted drivers. From teenagers on Twitter to adults checking their Facebook, everyone seems to be texting and driving or doing something on their phone. To make matters worse, we now are seeing the prevalence of ride-sharing apps like Uber & Lyft where drivers have huge phones mounted to their dashboard for directions. Cellphones are quickly becoming part of driving and drivers are more distracted today than ever before.   

Everything is bigger in Texas

This means bigger vehicles. Some studies suggest that the increasing market share of SUV sales could be one of many contributing factors to the increasing dangers of roadways and consequently the rise of pedestrian fatalities. As larger cars, SUVs and, Texas-sized trucks make their way back into our roadways, pedestrians begin to share the road with larger vehicles. As a result, the likeliness of a pedestrian accident leading to a fatality grows too. 

Infrastructure & Design Failure

Many of our roadways and much of our infrastructure were designed to accommodate industrialization. Our streets were built with business in mind, not people or pedestrians. Our roads are flooded with big delivery trucks, trailers, and 18 wheelers carrying oil & a plethora of other flammable liquids and chemicals. Our cities and highways were tailor-made to transport supplies and move shipments from point A to point B. For this reason, many traveling pedestrians lack the proper crosswalks and light fixtures that would accommodate foot traffic.   

Texans are driving under the influence

Mothers Against Drunk Driving or MADD, reports that there to be 1,438 annual deaths in Texas as a result of drunk driving. According to data collected by the CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and MADD, Texas has the highest number of fatalities caused by drivers under the influence. The prevalence of intoxicated drivers is just another contributing factor to the growing concerns of public and pedestrian safety in Texas.

What to do if someone I know has been injured in a pedestrian accident

  1. Carefully assess your environment, ensure that you and others are not in any immediate danger and are standing somewhere safe & clear from busy roadways or intersections. 
  2. Get help. Call 911 and contact the nearest first responders in your area. 
  3. Consult with an experienced personal injury attorney immediately.  It is important that you find an attorney with a winning track record of success handling similar cases.

Why should I contact an attorney after being injured in a pedestrian accident?

If you or someone you know has been injured after a pedestrian accident, it is important that you contact an experienced personal injury attorney immediately after seeking medical care. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you recover from your injuries, pay for your medical bills, and hold the responsible parties accountable for the damages and injuries they’ve caused you. The sooner you speak with an experienced attorney, the sooner a team of experts can begin to preserve necessary evidence, recover incident and police reports, and protect your rights.

Vuk Vujasinovic

Vuk Vujasinovic

10/29/2019