While the rest of the nation is experiencing a decline or flat-lining of fatal pedestrian-vehicle accidents, the state of Texas has experienced a dramatic increase.
The Texas Department of Transportation began keeping track of fatal pedestrian-auto accidents in 2010 and since then the number of fatalities has increased by 36 percent in the state, the Insurance Council of Texas reported last month.
According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 70 percent of pedestrians who were killed were men, most of the fatalities occurred between 3 p.m. and midnight and about one in three pedestrians who were killed had a blood-alcohol content of .08 or higher.
So why do pedestrians appear to be in greater danger in Texas than elsewhere? A spokesman for the Insurance Council of Texas said the improving economy — leading to more traffic — and distracted driving are both factors leading to the uptick in fatalities. But these things aren’t unique to the state of Texas.
One reason Texas is dealing with a spike in pedestrian fatalities could be that the infrastructure isn’t safe enough for people on foot.
In fact, Texas was ranked as the tenth most dangerous state for walking commuters by the nonprofit National Complete Streets Coalition at Smart Growth America in 2014. The nonprofit found that many roads in the state have been built wider to accommodate more cars traveling at higher speeds, which is unsafe for pedestrians.
As more and more Texas residents are deciding to walk instead of drive to work and around town, cities must do their part to keep residents safe. Drivers must also do their part to avoid distractions and focus on the roadways so that they see pedestrians before it is too late.
If you or someone you love was injured or killed in a pedestrian accident, know that the driver or even the city may be liable for damages. With an advocate in your corner, you can stand up for your right to full and fair compensation for the losses you have suffered.
Keep reading to find out more about seeking justice after a pedestrian accident in Texas.