The number of pedestrians killed in traffic accidents increased by 35 percent between 2008 and 2017, according to a recent D Magazine story on an alarming report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) concerning pedestrian accidents.
The situation is even worse here in Dallas County. Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) traffic data showed pedestrian deaths in Dallas County had doubled since 2010. The county had experienced 53 pedestrian fatalities as of July 31, 2019, and was on pace for 91 deaths for the year. That projected figure would be nearly triple the 37 fatalities in 2010.
Why Are Pedestrian Fatality Rates Rising in Dallas County?
A study entitled “Dangerous by Design” ranked Dallas-Fort Worth as the fourth-worst place to walk in Texas. The study found that 1,037 pedestrians were killed in accidents during a recent 10-year period.
The GHSA listed the following factors that could contribute to the high rate of pedestrian deaths in Dallas County:
- Population growth
- Changes in demographics
- Economic conditions
- Miles traveled per vehicle
- Fuel prices
- Increased amount of time spent on foot
The GHSA study also noted that more fatal pedestrian accidents happen at night versus during the day, which is not surprising considering that a driver who is not alert and paying attention may not see a pedestrian in the dark until it is too late.
The report also stated that more pedestrians died in accidents involving SUVs than other types of vehicles. It is also apparent that smartphone use by both drivers and those who are walking have contributed to the rise in accidents.
How Do Fatal Pedestrian Accidents Happen in Dallas County?
Fatal pedestrian area almost always caused by negligence on the part of one or more parties. In Dallas County, some of the most commonly cited reasons for fatal accidents include:
- Failure to yield right-of-way
- Distracted driving
- Driver error
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Speeding or driving aggressively
- Failure to obey traffic signals
- Failure to observe and adjust to weather or traffic conditions
How to Stay Safe When Walking in Dallas
As a pedestrian, there is little to protect you from being severely hurt or killed if a vehicle hits you. Fortunately, there are things you can do to reduce your chances of being struck while walking. Some safe walking tips include:
- Whenever possible, walk during daylight hours.
- Remain alert at all times.
- Stay on the sidewalk whenever possible.
- Always face oncoming traffic when walking.
- Only cross at crosswalks or intersections.
- Don’t assume that drivers see you when crossing the street and try to make eye contact with them as the vehicle approaches.
- Give yourself enough time to cross the street. Rushing increases your risk of falling.
Contact a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in Dallas County
Have you recently lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident in Dallas County? The attorneys at Tate Law Offices, P.C., have helped families like yours get answers, justice, and compensation for tragic accidents. We stand ready to fight for you.
Our firm has a 99 percent success rate that has resulted in more than 3,000 case victories. Talk to us now if you legal need help. You can reach us by phone or fill out a contact form online to set up a free consultation with us today.