Increase in Bicycle and Pedestrian Deaths in Texas
Texas authorities have indicated that over the past two years, bicycle and pedestrian fatalities have increased somewhat dramatically across Texas. Per the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), pedestrians and bicyclists currently account for a staggering one in five traffic-related fatalities in the state of Texas. TxDOT officials allege that the increase in pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities can be attributed to motorists’ disregard for safety regulations and laws that are intended to protect pedestrians and bicyclists.
If you were injured in a pedestrian or bicycle accident caused by a negligent or reckless motorist, you could be entitled to collect compensation to help you cover the cost of medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering caused by the accident. At the Loewy Law Firm, we will fight tirelessly to help you seek the compensation you need to recover after a pedestrian or bicycle accident. Contact us at (512) 280-0800 today for a free consultation.
Data Points from 2019 to 2020
According to TxDOT, even as traffic accidents decreased in 2020, pedestrian and bicyclist deaths rose sharply. A total of 731 pedestrians across Texas were killed in traffic-related accidents, up 9 percent from 2019. Bicyclists also suffered an increase in fatalities from 2019 to 2020. In 2020, 82 bicyclists were killed in traffic-related accidents. This was an increase from 2019, when 68 bicyclists lost their lives.
Due to the concerning increase in pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities, TxDOT started a public awareness campaign in August, the purpose of which is to educate motorists about the dangers that pedestrians and bicyclists face on the road and what they can do to help prevent terrible pedestrian and bicycle accidents.
Texas Laws for Cyclists and Pedestrians
Bicyclists are required to follow the same traffic laws as motorists. This means that bicyclists are prohibited from rolling through stop signs and red lights. They are also required to use hand signals to indicate to drivers when they intend to make a lane change or a turn. Bicyclists are also required to ride in the same direction as motor vehicle traffic, utilize designated bike lanes when they are available, and ensure that their bicycles are equipped with the proper lighting gear, including a red tail light and a white headlight.
Pedestrians are prohibited from crossing streets and roadways at any point other than at intersections and designated crosswalks. Like bikers and motorists, pedestrians are also required to follow all traffic signals, including signals at crosswalks. If a sidewalk is available, pedestrians are required to use it, and if there is no sidewalk, pedestrians must walk on the far left shoulder of the road, facing oncoming traffic.
Steps to Take to Stay Safe
As pedestrian and cyclist fatalities increase, it’s important to familiarize yourself with ways to stay safe when you’re walking or biking around other motorists. Pedestrians and cyclists should consider following these tips to stay safe on the road:
- Use sidewalks or bike lanes if they are available.
- Follow all traffic laws.
- Remain alert at all times and don’t use handheld devices such as cell phones until you safely reach your destination.
- Ensure that you are visible to other motorists. It’s a good idea to wear bright clothing in the daytime and reflective clothing at nighttime.
- Bikers should use hand signals to indicate to motorists when they want to turn or switch lanes.
- Pedestrians should refrain from crossing roads except at designated crosswalks, where motorists expect them to cross.
- Don’t walk or bike near/on roadways while impaired by alcohol. Alcohol impairs judgment and concentration and could end up causing an accident.
Contact Loewy Law Firm Today
If you are the victim of a pedestrian or bicycle accident, the Loewy Law Firm can help. We will conduct a full investigation into the accident, gather evidence to support your claim, determine liability, and attempt to negotiate a fair settlement with the proper insurance entity on your behalf. Contact us today for a free consultation by calling (512) 280-0800.