Texas Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
Helping those who were hit while walking
How Much Danger Are Pedestrians In?
Most people are familiar with car cashes and the thousands of lives that are claimed every year by them. What is not commonly known are the numerous pedestrians who are involved in collisions and get exposed to serious injury or death. Across the United States, our streets are becoming more dangerous than ever. Last year marked the worst year in history to be a pedestrian with more than 7,500 recorded deaths according to data collected by the Governors Highway Safety Association. Stories like a local Houston man on his first date being struck and killed by a drunk driver are becoming far too common.
Southern States Rank the Highest in Pedestrian Deaths
States with Fatality Increases
For the last several years, states in the south and west have experienced the most pedestrian death as opposed to northern states. According to GHSA’s estimates, New Mexico was rated as the most dangerous state for pedestrians for the seventh year in a row. Texas is not too far off rating close to the top 10 with fatality numbers increasing year to year. According to NPR, every day in the U.S., 20 people walk outside and are killed by a moving vehicle.
According to a report put together by the non-profit group the National Complete Streets Coalition at Smart Growth America, Texas is the 10th most dangerous state in the country for pedestrians, and Houston, TX is the seventh most dangerous metropolitan area for pedestrians in the nation. Researchers created what they call the Pedestrian Danger Index (PDI) to measure the risk of commuting on foot in each city and state, and set the national average at 52.2. The Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown area scored a 119.64 on the PDI scale, with over 1,000 deaths and countless more injured in the 10-year stretch researchers studied.
What Causes Pedestrian Accidents?
There are many different factors that contribute to collisions involving pedestrians and moving vehicles:
Too many people ignore Texting While Driving laws and are not paying close enough attention to the roads. In Texas under section 545.4251 of the Texas Statutes, writing a text, reading a text or sending a text while driving is illegal. Whether someone is using their phone, eating food or playing games, driving is an activity that require our full attention.
According to the Texas Penal Code, you are legally intoxicated when your blood alcohol concentration reaches 0.08%, however, you are breaking the law as soon as any drug or the presence of alcohol start to affect your driving ability. This unfortunately, gives some people the impression that drinking alcohol and driving is ok as longs as they can “drive normally.” Between 2012 to 2021, more than 37% of traffic fatalities in Texas involved drivers who were under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. According to Texas Open Data Portal, the majority of these fatalities occurred over the weekend between the hours of 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. Driving under the influence (DUI) crash fatalities are highest among young men between the ages of 19 and 32.
Since the pandemic, there having been more incidences of speeding and disregarding speed limits. Speeding reduces the time you have to react to potential risks, as well as increases the amount of force behind a potential impact.
People are electing to drive more SUVs and Pickup trucks. To some, they feel safer behind the wheel of a bigger vehicle. Unfortunately, they are more dangerous for a pedestrian who gets hit by one. These vehicles are heavier, harder to stop and have larger blind shots.
City Structure and Infrastructure
In major cities that are more spread out and public transportation isn’t available in the outskirts of the city, residents are forced to drive personal vehicles to get around. The increase is personal vehicles mixed with a warmer climate result in more incidences of pedestrian accidents. Lack of proper side walks for pedestrians also increase these risks.
Texas Pedestrian Laws and Protections
Texas Transportation Code Chapter 552.003 outlines the legal protections a pedestrian using a crosswalk enjoys. Drivers must yield to pedestrians when:
- There is no traffic signal, and the pedestrian is on the same half of the road as the oncoming vehicle, or is close enough to that half to be in danger if the car continued along its current path.
In addition, oncoming vehicles may not drive around a vehicle stopped at a crosswalk ahead of them. Pedestrians do not have the same level of protection people in motor vehicles enjoy, placing them at far greater danger during an accident. If you were seriously injured, our personal injury attorneys at Fleming, Nolen & Jez are ready to help you fight for the compensation you need.
Were You Hit by a Vehicle While Walking?
When it comes to motor vehicle collisions, pedestrians are the most vulnerable. Drivers are legally required to give the right of way to pedestrians, but far too often they choose to act recklessly or fail to identify the people in their path. Whether these pedestrians are walking on the sidewalk, across a crosswalk or in some other seemingly protected area, they deserve to feel safe from a potential crash. When a driver forcibly takes this safety away from them, the person who was hit deserves the chance to file a lawsuit to recieve compensation to cover any medical bills or damages incurred from the accident.
Since we first opened our doors over 42 years ago, our attorneys have successfully recovered verdict awards and monetary compensation for our clients, and are committed to providing each new client we accept with the same level of passionate legal representation that has earned us national recognition. At Fleming, Nolen & Jez, our personal injury and mass tort lawyers have dedicated their careers to fighting for the rights of injured victims. Contact us today to begin planning out the steps you need to take.