Pedestrian accidents in Austin, Texas have been increasing since the beginning of 2022. So far, April has had the most traffic accidents where almost half of them resulted in pedestrian deaths. According to a trauma injury prevention coordinator at St. David’s South Austin*, a big factor in the increase in pedestrian accidents is the lack of bike and pedestrian safety.
Pedestrian Accidents & Safety Precautions
The frequency of pedestrian accidents has been increasing since 2019. From 2019 to 2021 there was a 31% increase in pedestrian fatalities. The main causes for these pedestrian accidents were pedestrians failing to yield to the right-of-way of vehicles, drivers not paying attention, drivers not yielding to the right-of-way of pedestrians, and drivers speeding. Pedestrian crashes can be prevented if both parties can take the necessary precautions needed.
The Texas Department of Transportation recognizes that pedestrians are one of the most vulnerable road users as they are not protected at all! They provided tips for both drivers and pedestrians to help lessen the chance of a potentially fatal accident.
- For Drivers:
- Follow the proper right-of-way rules for pedestrians.
- Watch for pedestrians crossing the road, especially at intersections.
- If drivers are passing stopped buses or other vehicles, slow down and watch for any pedestrians that have exited the vehicle.
- Do not participate in distracted driving habits like using a phone.
- For Pedestrians:
- Use crosswalks or intersections to cross the street, do not try and jaywalk.
- Do not assume drivers see you, make sure to try and make eye contact with the driver before safely crossing the street.
- Make sure to always use a sidewalk when walking, however, if no sidewalk is available it is safer to walk facing oncoming traffic.
- Put away any distractions when walking along the street, which includes not wearing both headphones. It is important to be watching and listening.
Vision Zero: Helping Austin Reach Zero Traffic Deaths
Vision Zero is something the Austin Transportation Department created to reduce the number of crashes involving pedestrians who become either injured or killed. To achieve this goal, the Austin Transportation Department will plan and build a safe multi-modal transportation network. According to traffic fatality statistics, Vision Zero states that on average one Austin pedestrian is killed in a crash every five days, and one pedestrian is injured every 20 hours.
Vision Zero began back in October 2015 to connect safer street design, targeted law enforcement, evidence-based public policy, public engagement, and participation in the Austin community. Having data from the Austin Police Department, the Vision Zero team has created a helpful dashboard to identify Austin streets with the highest number of serious injuries and fatal pedestrian crashes.
Victims of Austin Pedestrian Accidents
Texas Law 552 is all about the rules of the road in regards to pedestrians. The law talks about the right-of-way for pedestrians when coming across a crosswalk or if a control signal is present. If a pedestrian is hit by a vehicle during the proper time pedestrians are crossing the street, the drivers will be found negligent and at fault for the accident.
Injuries of victims of pedestrian accidents can be pretty extreme since pedestrians do not have any type of protection. The lower body is more likely to have the most damage done; broken bones, trauma to muscles and ligaments, and lacerations. Injuries to the neck and head also occur and can be more severe. When a pedestrian is struck, their body can hit the windshield or hood of the vehicle. Typically injuries that happen are neck injuries, skull damage, concussions, spinal cord injuries, lacerations, and jaw injuries.
If you were hit by a vehicle while you were attempting to safely cross a street or walking on the sidewalk, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries. Make sure you or someone else who witnessed the accident contacts the police and an ambulance. The police will create a report to document the events of the accident and the ambulance will assist with your injuries. Working with our Austin car accident lawyers for your pedestrian accident claim will provide you with all the tools you need to reach a proper settlement.