In the entire year of 2014, there were 22 reported pedestrian fatalities in the city of Dallas, six more than the previous year. However, these numbers pale in comparison to the fact that we are only three-quarters of the way through 2015 and pedestrian deaths have surpassed previous yearly totals.
According to an article in the Dallas Observer, as of August 31, 2015, our city has already seen 31 pedestrian deaths. With three more months left in the year, and totals from September not yet reported, at this rate we could very well see more deaths this year than the past two years combined.Â
Study Data Speculates on the High Rate of Pedestrian Fatalities
There are many factors that contribute to high pedestrian death rates in metro areas. A study by Governing.com found that Dallas’s metro area had a relatively low rate of per capita pedestrian deaths, but when calculated per pedestrian it makes Dallas look much worse.
The majority of the accidents reported in 2015 took place on lit surface streets where pedestrians failed to yield right of way to vehicles when crossing away from an intersection at night. This indicates that better pedestrian education and increased crosswalks or other crossing methods may be necessary to help reduce the number of pedestrian deaths.
Further statistics from the study show that the majority of the accidents took place in areas with a poverty rate higher than 25 percent. This may be attributable to more residents opting to walk to destinations or take public transportation rather than drive a car.
Dallas Officials Reinforce Current Pedestrian Safety Plans
When the alarming death rates were brought to the attention of Dallas government officials, current public safety initiatives were cited. The Dallas City Council staff pointed out the current re-painting of crosswalks and the new fluorescent signs and countdown timers that are replacing old pedestrian signals.Â There are still improvements that can be made to safety that some say are being ignored by legislators.
Suggestions to reduce walking fatalities are as follows.
- Reduce speed limits in high-traffic areas
- Widen sidewalks
- Slim down some of Dallas’s wider roads to make pedestrian crossing easier
The city is already promoting more walking and public transit use, promoting in turn an increase in pedestrians. This will hopefully lead to more discussions on improving walking safety in Dallas.
A Dallas Personal Injury Attorney Can Help after a Pedestrian Accident
Pedestrian accidents continue to occur on a regular basis in Dallas, and they can easily result in severe or fatal injuries. If your loved one was killed while walking in Dallas, you have the right to help from a personal injury attorney. Contact The Law Office of Julie Johnson, PLLC today to schedule a free consultation regarding your case: 214-290-8001.