TxDOT launches pedestrian safety campaign
TxDOT urges drivers to look out for pedestrians who account for 1 in 5 traffic fatalities in the Lone Star State.
WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - The Texas Department of Transportation launched its “Be Safe. Drive Smart” campaign on Thursday to encourage drivers and pedestrians to watch out for each other.
In 2021, 5,366 traffic crashes involving pedestrians reportedly occurred in Texas, and 841 people were killed, a 15% increase in pedestrian fatalities over the previous year. TxDOT officials said another 1,470 people were seriously injured.
“Only 1% of traffic crashes in Texas involve pedestrians, yet pedestrians account for 19% of all roadway deaths,” TxDOT Executive Director Marc Williams said. “That’s because pedestrians lack the protective equipment—airbags, seat belts and bumpers—common to vehicles. To keep our most vulnerable road users safe, we urge motorists to always be on the lookout for people walking. Pedestrians also have the responsibility to be aware of their surroundings and follow the rules of the road.”
TxDOT officials said crash reports indicate the leading factors of pedestrian-related traffic crashes include:
- Pedestrians failing to yield the right of way to vehicles
- Driver inattention
- Motorists failing to yield the right of way to pedestrians
- Failure to control speed
- Drivers and/or pedestrians being under the influence of alcohol
TxDOT officials offered the following safety reminders to help prevent a deadly encounter.
- Stop for pedestrians in crosswalks
- When turning, yield the right of way to pedestrians
- Be cautious when passing stopped buses or other vehicles
- Pay attention and put your phone away, so you’re always prepared if pedestrians enter your path
- Follow the posted speed limit and drive to conditions
For people walking:
- Cross the street only at intersections and crosswalks; look left, right, then left again before crossing
- Make eye contact with drivers before crossing; don’t assume drivers see you
- Follow all traffic and crosswalk signals
- Use the sidewalk; if there isn’t one, walk on the left side of the road, facing oncoming traffic
- When walking, put away electronic devices that take your eyes and ears off the road
- Wear reflective materials or use a flashlight at night
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