Experts find Texas pedestrian fatalities up 70 percent since 2010
This week dozens of transportation officials across the state are coming together to present ideas on preventing pedestrian deaths in Texas.
According to the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, in the past year, 600 pedestrians have died in Texas. The number of fatalities has risen 70 percent since 2010.
"It's not only a fairly significant problem in terms of people dying and being injured but it's also a growing problem," says Research Engineer Robert Wunderlich.
Wunderlich says most of the fatalities happen in urban areas at night where drivers aren't expecting to see pedestrians and men are most likely to be involved in the crashes both as pedestrians and drivers.
"We want pedestrians to know that even though they can see the vehicle at night, that vehicle and driver might not see them," says Wunderlich.
This year, TxDOT launched the "Be Safe Be Seen" campaign in an effort to reduce deaths by giving out reflective gear and informational pamphlets.
However, Wunderlich says finding a solution will take a multi-pronged approach.
After looking at the data, he found most pedestrian vs. vehicle incidents don't happen in concentrated, predictable areas. Rather, a number of factors play a role including impairment, distracted driving, and road conditions.
As transportation officials work to create more pedestrian-friendly roads, they encourage people to be aware of the increasing number of fatalities and take steps to prevent them.