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How Often Are Pedestrians Struck By Vehicles in Texas? / Texas Pedestrian Accident Statistics

June 27, 2023Motorcycle Accidents

Every year, thousands of pedestrians are involved in accidents with vehicles, resulting in injuries and, tragically, fatalities. In the vast state of Texas, where transportation plays a vital role in daily life, understanding the frequency and impact of pedestrian accidents is crucial. 

Pedestrian Accidents in Texas

Pedestrian Accidents in Texas

Texas is known for its vast road networks and high levels of motor vehicle traffic. Unfortunately, these factors contribute to a higher risk of accidents involving pedestrians. Let’s take a closer look at the statistics to gain a better understanding of the situation.

Fatality Rates

According to recent data, Texas consistently ranks among the states with the highest number of pedestrian fatalities in the United States. In 2021, there were 843 pedestrian fatalities reported in Texas, an increase of 15% from the year prior. The numbers indicate that pedestrian deaths account for one in five of all traffic fatalities.

Injury Rates

Pedestrian accidents also result in a significant number of non-fatal injuries in Texas. In 2021, there were approximately 1,467 reported non-fatal pedestrian injuries across the state. It is important to note that many pedestrian injuries go unreported, and the actual number is likely higher.

Urban vs. Rural Areas

Pedestrian accidents tend to occur more frequently in urban areas due to higher population densities and increased pedestrian activity. However, rural areas in Texas also experience a significant number of pedestrian accidents, often due to higher vehicle speeds on highways and less infrastructure designed to protect pedestrians.

Contributing Factors in Texas Pedestrian Accidents

Several factors often contribute to pedestrian accidents in Texas, including:

  • Failure to Yield: Pedestrians failing to yield the right-of-way to vehicles, as well as drivers failing to yield to pedestrians, are significant factors in pedestrian accidents. Both parties must adhere to traffic laws and exercise caution to prevent collisions.
  • Distracted Driving: Driver inattention, including distractions from mobile devices, is a leading cause of pedestrian accidents in Texas. When drivers are not entirely focused on the road, they may fail to notice pedestrians or react in time to prevent a collision.
  • Speeding: Excessive speeding reduces a driver’s ability to react to unexpected situations, making it more difficult to avoid collisions with pedestrians. Higher speeds also increase the severity of injuries in the event of an accident.

Due to their lack of protection, pedestrians are extremely vulnerable to severe and life-changing injuries when an accident does occur. 

Preventing Pedestrian Accidents

Some of the strategies that can help reduce pedestrian accidents in Texas include the following:

For Motorists

Here are some critical steps that motorists can take to minimize the risk of pedestrian accidents:

  • Stay Attentive and Avoid Distractions:
    • Keep attention on the road and avoid distractions like cell phones, eating, or talking to passengers.
    • Be mindful of pedestrians: Continuously scan your surroundings and be alert for pedestrians, especially in areas with high foot traffic.
  • Observe Speed Limits:
    • Lower speeds allow for better reaction time and reduce the severity of potential accidents. Follow speed limits, particularly in residential areas, school zones, and areas with heavy pedestrian presence.
  • Yield to Pedestrians:
    • Always yield the right-of-way to pedestrians, especially at marked crosswalks and intersections, even if there are no traffic signals present.
  • Avoid Impaired Driving:
    • Never drive while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any other substances that impair your ability to drive safely.
  • Be Prepared for Unexpected Actions:
    • Recognize that pedestrians may make unexpected movements or actions, especially near schools, parks, or areas with high foot traffic.

For Pedestrians

Pedestrians can play a crucial role in preventing accidents by taking proactive measures to ensure their safety. For instance:

  • Be Alert and Attentive:
    • Stay focused: Avoid distractions such as texting, listening to loud music, or engaging in activities that take your attention away from your surroundings.
    • Look and listen: Continuously scan your surroundings, look both ways before crossing, and listen for approaching vehicles.
  • Use Designated Crosswalks and Signals:
    • Cross at designated locations: Whenever possible, use marked crosswalks and pedestrian signals to safely cross the road.
    • Obey traffic signals and wait for the appropriate signal before crossing the road.
  • Make Yourself Visible:
    • Wear bright or reflective clothing, especially during low-light conditions or at night, to make you more visible to drivers.
    • Use lights or reflective accessories: Carry a flashlight or wear reflective accessories to enhance your visibility in dimly lit areas.
  • Make Eye Contact:
    • When crossing in front of vehicles, try to make eye contact with the driver to ensure they have seen you before proceeding.
  • Be Predictable
    • Walk in predictable patterns: Follow a straight path and avoid sudden movements or erratic behavior that could surprise drivers.
  • Stay on Sidewalks or Footpaths
    • Use designated pedestrian areas: Whenever possible, walk on sidewalks or footpaths separated from vehicle traffic. If sidewalks are unavailable, walk facing oncoming traffic, as far away from the road as possible.
  • Be Cautious at Intersections:
    • Look for turning vehicles: Pay attention to vehicles turning at intersections, as they may not see you crossing.
    • Wait for clear visibility: If a parked vehicle obstructs your view, wait until you can clearly see oncoming traffic before crossing.