Texas has consistently ranked as one of the most dangerous states for pedestrians. The Insurance Council of Texas has reported that between 2010 and 2015, the number of pedestrian fatalities in the state had increased by 36%.
But this isn’t the only troubling news; in fact, pedestrian deaths from traffic accidents are on the rise all across the United States. The Governors Highway Safety Associated found that pedestrian deaths increased 10% from 2014-2015, the largest increase in over 40 years. The organization also found that California, Texas, New York, and Florida accounted for 42% of all pedestrian deaths in 2015.
Some startling statistics that continue to reveal the seriousness of this issue include:
- Approximately 5,000 pedestrian deaths occur each year.
- A pedestrian is 1.5 times more likely to be killed than an occupant of a vehicle.
- Nearly 20% of pedestrian fatalities were caused by hit-and-run drivers.
Often times, these fatalities lead to wrongful death claims, with family members fighting for justice and financial compensation. The wrongful death attorneys of The Garcia Law Group understand the trauma families face after the death of a loved one, but it’s important to realize that there may be an opportunity to make a negligent party pay for their wrong doing.
Learn more about pedestrian accidents and wrongful death suits below.
Who’s most at risk?
Individuals who are at highest risk of being involved in a fatal pedestrian-related traffic accident include:
- Children under the age of 14 – children under this age account for 20% of fatalities.
- Older people – the average age of pedestrians killed in traffic accidents is 46 and those over the age of 65 account for 19% of all pedestrian deaths.
- Males -69% of pedestrians killed are men.
In what settings do pedestrian fatalities happen more often?
Location greatly affects the rate at which a pedestrian is likely to be involved in a pedestrian-related traffic accident:
- 79% of pedestrian deaths occur at non-intersection areas of the road.
- 73% of pedestrian deaths occur in an urban setting.
What are the reasons that pedestrian deaths happen so frequently?
There are a number of reasons why pedestrian deaths occur:
- Economic changes means more people are walking to work, or to catch public transportation these days. While the increase in pedestrians does increase probabilities, fatalities are more related to a lack of sidewalks and ineffective city planning that does not accommodate to a walking population.
- Time of day also plays a huge factor in pedestrian accidents, with 72% of all deaths occurring between 6 PM and midnight on weekdays, and 6 PM through 3 AM on weekends.
- Alcohol is one of the largest contributors of fatal traffic accidents in general. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released data that indicates alcohol involvement—for the driver and/or the pedestrian— was reported in 49 percent of traffic crashes.
- Vehicle speed plays a prominent role in the likelihood and severity of pedestrian-related accidents. High speeds decrease the chance of drivers noticing a pedestrian and also greatly affects their ability to stop in time.
- Cell phone usage is the newest, and increasingly significant, factor in the increase of pedestrian-related accidents. Cell phone use while driving means taking your eyes off the road for an average of 5 seconds. When traveling at 55 MPH, drivers travel the length of a football field without looking up.
- Additional causes of pedestrian accidents include: drivers failing to check at crosswalks, drivers failing to stop at lights or stop signs, drivers turning without paying attention to their surroundings.
What are the pedestrian laws in Texas?
As both pedestrians and drivers, it’s important to recognize our responsibility in the roles we play, as we travel and use the roadways. Both motorists and pedestrians can engage in risky behaviors that can cause a fatal (or harmful) accident.
As pedestrians we must:
- Exercise due care as we use sidewalks, crosswalks, and pedestrian bridges.
- Obey traffic control devices and laws.
- Cross streets only at crosswalks.
- Do not cut across an intersection diagonally.
- Walk on the left side of the street facing traffic if no sidewalk is available.
As drivers, our responsibilities include:
- Exercising an awareness of our surroundings especially when pedestrians are around.
- Yield to pedestrians at crosswalks.
- Follow traffic rules, signs, and lights.
- Follow the speed limit.
- Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
In your time of need, The Garcia Law Group is here to fight for your rights.
The lawyers of The Garcia Law Group recognize the difficulties families must go through when a loved one is lost because of another party’s negligence. If your loved one was involved in a pedestrian-related accident and lost their life because of a negligent driver, then we can help you get the justice you deserve.
Contact us today at (956) 681-8000 for a free consultation. Our lawyers are based in Weslaco, but can meet your needs regardless of where you stay. Find the confidence to fight for your rights. Find the guidance you need with The Garcia Law Group.