Statistics show that the number of auto-pedestrian accident deaths in Texas has risen a staggering 36 percent since the Texas Department of Transportation began tracking these crashes in 2010. While other cities are seeing a decrease in accidents involving pedestrians, several urban areas across Texas are in the top ten for pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 residents, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association.
The three top urban areas for pedestrian fatalities in Texas are Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio, according to the Insurance Council of Texas (ICT). This includes:
While the ICT has not yet released official 2015 totals, preliminary numbers show that both Austin and Dallas set record highs for the number of pedestrians killed in car accidents last year.
The death rate for pedestrians is often much higher in major cities than it is in rural areas. For that reason, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tracks the fatality rate in urban areas. By comparing the rates of Texas cities against others across the country, it becomes obvious that auto versus pedestrian deaths should be a major concern for lawmakers and residents of Texas.
The NHTSA ranks Detroit as the worst city for pedestrian safety. Detroit had 3.99 fatalities per 100,000 residents in 2012. This was followed by Oklahoma City (3.34), Albuquerque (3.24), and Jacksonville (3.23).
Dallas ranked fifth nationally, at 3.22 deaths per 100,000 residents. Austin and San Antonio both clocked in above 2.65 (2.97 and 2.68 respectively), while Houston had 2.13 fatalities per 100,000 residents.
Pedestrian traffic has increased overall in urban areas. Today, more people are living downtown and walking to work than ever before. The number of people walking and running for exercise has also increased, bringing even more people onto the city sidewalks.
At the same time, overall traffic fatalities have also increased in Texas. The economy has bounced back, and more people are on the roads. More people walking paired with more cars on the road naturally leads to an increase in collisions that involve pedestrians.
At the same time, texting and other new technology have greatly increased the number of distracted drivers on the road. Distracted and impaired drivers play a role in a large number of both vehicles versus vehicle collisions and auto versus pedestrian crashes.
Julie Johnson is a pedestrian accident attorney in Dallas. She represents victims who suffered serious injuries in auto-pedestrian accidents in Texas, as well as the family members of those who died in these collisions. Contact us at 214-290-8001 to set up a no-obligation consultation to discuss your options with a knowledgeable lawyer.