Texas is famous for many things: longhorns, the Alamo, cowboys, the Dallas Cowboys, and many more. One claim to fame we all wish Texas had no right to is being one of the nation’s most dangerous states for pedestrian traffic. Yet Texas regularly ranks in the top 3 most dangerous states in the nation for pedestrians fatalities.
Experts seeking answers to Texas’ high pedestrian fatality rates cite distracted drivers and the increase of SUVs on the road as potential factors for the high risk on Texas roads. While experts have firm opinions about factors that pose a problem for Texas roads’ safety, there are no definitive answers to explain the increase in the pedestrian fatality rate. However, there are some good theories.
Increase in Distracted Driving: Drivers are more distracted as smartphones become even more a part of day to day life. Most drivers have their smartphones mounted on the dash for easy access. Since texting while driving (or using your smartphone at all while driving) is one of the most common types of distracted driving, and distracted driving is one of the most common causes of Texas car accidents and pedestrian accidents, a significant increase in smartphone usage in vehicles poses a significant danger to drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians.
Increased number of SUVs on the Road: The number of SUVs and small trucks sold over the last decade saw a decided increase. Generally speaking, SUVs can do more harm in an accident in comparison to a car – even when driving at low speeds, so experts suspect the increased number of SUV sales, and therefore the number of SUVs on the road is another factor contributing to the dangers of Texas roads. In fact, research indicates the number of pedestrians killed between 2013 and 2017 by SUVs increased by 50%.
Metro Center Growth: Extensive growth in large urban centers like Dallas and Houston push development out to the suburbs. This extensive, rapid growth can push drivers out to areas where Texas drivers do not expect pedestrians.
Texas Road Design: Some experts question whether or not Texas road design may be a contributing factor to rising pedestrian fatality rates. Texas roads are not necessarily well designed to protect pedestrians.
If you are injured in a Texas car accident and need help, don’t waste any time. Get in touch with an experienced Texas personal injury attorney at Hudson Law. We can help you navigate the process to defend your legal rights and protect your financial and medical interests. We put Personal back into Personal Injury Law.