How safe is Texas for pedestrians?

In 2012, 480 pedestrians were killed in accidents in Texas. Bryan residents should know how to get help if hit by cars.

Virtually every person in Texas can be a pedestrian at some point. That means that virtually every person in Texas is vulnerable to being hit by a motor vehicle while on foot. Pedestrian accidents can happen at the most unexpected times. Even the simple act of walking from a vehicle through a parking lot to enter a grocery store can find a pedestrian struck by a vehicle and facing serious injuries.

How many pedestrian accidents happen in Texas?

Certainly the number of accidents involving automobiles and pedestrians that happen in Texas fluctuates from year to year. In 2013, statistics provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association show that 3,382 people died in traffic accidents in Texas regardless of the cause or influencing factor. Out of those deaths, 480 people were pedestrians.

Harris County led the state with 93 pedestrian deaths followed by Dallas County and Bexar County with 49 and 45 pedestrian deaths, respectively. Tarrant County and Travis County lost 28 and 26 pedestrians, respectively, in motor vehicle collisions.

Closer to home, there were a total of 15 vehicular fatalities in 2013 and three of those were pedestrians in Brazos County. Three of Brazos County's neighboring counties experienced one pedestrian death each while another three had no pedestrian deaths that year.

A closer look at pedestrian-vehicle accidents

A Houston Chronicle article gave details about a course developed for law enforcement personnel and other professionals about how to appropriately reconstruct automobile accidents involving pedestrians. The course was developed by the Texas A&M Engineering Extensions Service and is held in Bryan.

As part of this 40-hour course, participants view a video that shows in slow motion what happens to the body of a pedestrian when hit by a vehicle. The video shows the crash test dummy's knees buckling upon the initial impact by the vehicle's bumper. Immediately after that, the face of the dummy is sent into the windshield of the vehicle. Then, the dummy's entire body is sent over the vehicle. The impact is so great that a shoe even comes off of the dummy's foot.

While every pedestrian accident is different, this video gives an example of what pedestrians are at risk for when hit by vehicles.

How can pedestrians stay safe?

It may never be possible to prevent all accidents no matter how careful a person is. Drunk, distracted, fatigued drivers and more can all cause serious injury or even death to others. When accidents happen, victims or family members should consult with an attorney right away for help.

Keywords: pedestrian, accident, injury