Pedestrian Deaths In Texas Increased by 15% in 2021
Nine pedestrians died in TxDOT’s Atlanta District due to traffic crashes.
ATLANTA – As pedestrian deaths continue to rise in Texas, TxDOT’s Be Safe. Drive Smart. The campaign urges drivers and pedestrians to watch out for each other.
Across Texas in 2021, over 5,366 traffic crashes involving pedestrians occurred, and as a result, it killed 841 people, a 15% increase in pedestrian fatalities over the previous year. In addition, it seriously injured another 1,470 people.
In the Atlanta District in 2021, there were 48 traffic crashes involving pedestrians, resulting in 9 fatalities and 19 serious injuries.
“Every death leaves a family and a community devastated,” said Atlanta District Engineer Buddy Williams. “We must watch for pedestrians at all times. That includes constantly scanning your surroundings, eliminating distractions, and driving to conditions. Unfortunately, a large portion, 86% of pedestrian deaths in Texas, did not occur at an intersection.”
“Only 1% of traffic crashes in Texas involve pedestrians, yet pedestrians account for 19% of all roadway deaths,” said TxDOT Executive Director Marc Williams. “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 are also responsible for being aware of their surroundings and following the rules of the road.”
Crash reports from law enforcement indicate the leading factors of pedestrian-related traffic crashes include:
- Pedestrians fail to yield the right of way to vehicles.
- Driver inattention.
- Motorists fail to yield the right of way to pedestrians.
- Failure to control speed.
- Drivers and pedestrians are under the influence of alcohol.
The Be Safe. Drive Smart Campaign includes TV, radio, billboards, and digital advertising. In addition, “walking billboards” will deliver safety messages in the state’s major metro areas with a high volume of pedestrian traffic where it’s easy for drivers and people on foot to see them.
TxDOT offers these safety reminders to prevent a deadly encounter:
- Stop for pedestrians at 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.
TxDOT’s pedestrian safety campaign is a critical component of #EndTheStreakTX, a broader social media and word-of-mouth effort that encourages drivers to make safer choices while behind the wheel to help end the streak of daily deaths. November 7, 2000, was the last deathless day on Texas roadways.