Pedestrian and bicycle accidents are on the rise in Texas
In an effort to reduce the number of bicycle and pedestrian accidents statewide, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) recently designated $345 million for improvement projects for pedestrians and cyclists, including bike paths and pedestrian walkways.
"People who walk and bike make up about 1 out of every 5 deaths on roadways here in Texas," Texas Transportation Commissioner Alvin New said in a recent statement released by TxDOT. "These projects will help the state move closer toward the goal of zero deaths by giving people a place to walk and bike separate from traffic."
Projects slated for Wichita Falls, Texas
TxDOT will spend $345 million on 83 projects throughout the state. "This is a major investment in communities across the state that will help make it safer and easier to get around on foot or a bike," Texas Transportation Commissioner Robert "Robie" Vaughn said in a statement. "This optionality supports safety, active lifestyles, health and wellness, and can provide alternatives to traveling by vehicle."
In the Wichita Falls, Texas area, these pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure projects include:
- $4,591,152 for the West California Street sidewalk improvement project in the city of Gainesville, Texas.
- $2,742,753 for construction of a hike & bike shared-use bike trail west of Camp Fire Property to Lucy Park in the city of Wichita Falls, Texas.
How common are pedestrian accidents in Texas?
The decision to invest millions in pedestrian improvement projects statewide in Texas is a direct response to the alarming rise in pedestrian accidents. In recent years, pedestrian fatalities in Texas have surged, increasing by 72.9 percent from 480 deaths in 2013 to 830 deaths in 2022.
This concerning trend is based on data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and TxDOT. In addition to the high number of fatalities, there were 4,963 pedestrian injuries resulting from 5,751 pedestrian accidents in Texas in 2022.
Among these incidents, 1,389 were classified as serious pedestrian accidents, as reported by TxDOT accident data.
How common are bicycle accidents in Texas?
Bicycle accidents have seen a concerning surge in Texas over the past decade. Between 2013 and 2022, bicycle accident fatalities increased by a staggering 91.6 percent, rising from 48 deaths in 2013 to 92 bicycle fatalities in 2022.
This alarming trend is based on data compiled by the NHTSA and the TxDOT. In 2022 alone, Texas recorded 2,347 bicycle accidents, resulting in 2,061 bicycle accident injuries statewide, as reported by the TxDOT.
Tips for drivers to share the road
Preventing accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists in Texas is critical for road safety. Drivers can take several proactive steps to minimize the risk of collisions and protect vulnerable road users, such as:
- Stay vigilant: Always stay alert and attentive while driving, especially in areas with heavy pedestrian and cyclist traffic, such as school zones, crosswalks, and bike lanes. Be sure to exercise extra caution at intersections where pedestrians and cyclists are more likely to be present.
- Respect right of way: Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and at intersections. Cyclists should be given enough space when sharing the road, and drivers should be patient when passing them safely.
- Follow speed limits: Adhering to posted speed limits gives drivers more time to react to unexpected situations, reducing the likelihood of accidents. You should also slow down in adverse weather conditions, as visibility and traction may be compromised. Rain and fog can make it harder to see pedestrians and cyclists.
- Avoid distractions: Avoid using your phone, eating, or engaging in other distractions while driving. Distracted driving significantly increases the risk of accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists.
- Use turn signals: Clearly indicate your intentions by using turn signals in advance. This allows pedestrians and cyclists to anticipate your movements.
- Obey traffic laws: Follow all traffic laws and signals, including stop signs and traffic lights. Disobeying these laws can lead to dangerous situations for pedestrians and cyclists.
- Look before opening doors: Before exiting a parked vehicle, check for approaching cyclists to avoid "dooring" accidents.
Hoover Rogers fights for injured pedestrians and cyclists
Claims involving injured pedestrians and cyclists can be complex because they often require a thorough investigation and a deep understanding of the circumstances surrounding the accident. Determining fault in cases involving pedestrians and cyclists can be challenging, as multiple factors may come into play.
Additionally, the extent of injuries sustained by pedestrians and cyclists can be severe, ranging from broken bones to traumatic brain injuries or even fatalities. As a result, these cases often require the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer to recover the full extent of damages.
At Hoover Rogers Law, LLP, our attorneys have a proven track record of helping injured pedestrians and cyclists secure the compensation they deserve. We understand the unique challenges these cases present and are committed to providing our clients with compassionate and effective legal representation. If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian or bicycle accident, contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your potential legal options and protect your rights.