Last year in Texas, over 700 people died in pedestrian-car accidents, with another 79 dying in car accidents involving bicycles. All told, more than 7,000 pedestrian-car accidents happened in the state over the past year.
By looking at where these accidents happen and who they happen to, pedestrians and drivers can make more informed decisions about their safety.
Unfortunately, accidents sometimes happen despite our best efforts. Today, your accountable Houston car accident attorneys at Lapeze & Johns, PLLC, will discuss pedestrian accidents, where they happen, and just how you can avoid them.
Who Do Pedestrian Accidents Affect?
In Texas, as well as across the U.S., those most at risk of being involved in a pedestrian-car accident are those of lower socioeconomic status. This includes those living in low-income areas, the elderly, people of color, and children.
In 2020, Black pedestrians in Texas were at an 82% higher risk of pedestrian-car accidents compared to non-Hispanic white pedestrians. People of color overall accounted for 60% of all pedestrian accidents in 2020.
Where Do Pedestrian Accidents Happen?
Given who is involved in pedestrian crashes, it should be no surprise that the vast majority of Texas pedestrian accidents occur in low-income areas. These areas tend to have lower lighting, fewer sidewalks and crosswalks, and overall less infrastructure in place to protect pedestrians.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 80% of pedestrian accidents occurred in urban areas across the country compared to rural areas in 2019. This includes more than 1,400 pedestrian fatalities in areas like driveways, parking lots, and private properties.
In urban areas, the majority of pedestrian accidents (more than 70%) happen on open roads in comparison to intersections. The time of day also plays a role – 80% of pedestrian accidents take place in the dark or in low lighting. In low lighting, pedestrians can be more difficult for drivers to see and anticipate.
Another factor in the likelihood of a pedestrian accident is the day of the week. While day-time accidents are reportedly consistent, there tend to be far more pedestrian accidents on Saturday and significantly fewer on Tuesdays compared to the rest of the days of the week.
How To Be a Safe Pedestrian
One surefire way to stay safe as a pedestrian is to avoid walking in areas where accidents are more likely to occur. This includes avoiding jay-walking, walking at night and in low lighting, and walking in areas without sufficient walkways in place.
Everyone is a pedestrian sometimes, so it’s important for all of us to know about the best ways to stay safe while walking near cars. Below, you can find a list of all of the basics you need to know to be safe:
- Follow posted rules and signs
- Walk on sidewalks
- Walk facing traffic
- Stay alert
- Avoid distractions
- Use intersections and crosswalks
- Only cross the street in well-lit areas
- Make eye contact with drivers to verify they see you
- Wear bright clothes and stay visible
- Watch for cars in parking lots, driveways, and cross streets
Remember that while it may be safer than drunk driving, walking while impaired can put you at greater risk of being hit by a car. If you plan on walking near roads, avoid doing so under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Seek Relief From Pedestrian Accidents With a Houston Car Accident Attorney
If you’ve been involved in a pedestrian-car accident, you may soon be facing a mountain of medical bills and lost income, not to mention the painful process of healing.
Luckily, you don’t have to go through the process of seeking legal financial relief alone. The Houston car and truck accident attorneys of Lapeze & Johns, PLLC, would be proud to represent you in insurance negotiations or a court of law.