A Laredo personal injury lawyer discusses the daily dangers pedestrians and cyclists face on Texas roads.
Nearly one in five motor vehicle accident deaths in Texas involves a pedestrian or cyclist despite ongoing efforts statewide to reduce such accidents, according to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).
"Year after year, we're seeing fatalities from traffic crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists climb," TxDOT Executive Director Marc Williams said in a recent statement. "Each of us has a shared responsibility to help reverse this trend. Whether you're behind the wheel, on foot, or riding a bicycle, we're asking all Texans to be safe and smart, and that starts with obeying traffic laws."
Such news comes as no surprise to our legal team. Over the years, we have seen how devastating these accidents can be due to our work with injured pedestrians and cyclists throughout Texas. That's why we applaud the Texas Department of Transportation's efforts to educate the public about the daily dangers pedestrians and cyclists face.
If you or someone you care about was hit by a car on foot or while riding a bicycle, it's important to know your legal rights. Contact John R. Solis today to learn how an experienced Laredo pedestrian accident attorney can help you.
Pedestrian and bicycle accidents are on the rise in Texas
Motor vehicle accident fatalities involving pedestrians and bicyclists in Texas continue to set new record highs every year. After reaching a decade-high death toll in 2020, the number of people who died in pedestrian-related accidents in Texas climbed to a record 841 deaths in 2021, an increase of 15 percent compared to 2020, according to TxDOT.
As for bicycle accident fatalities caused by drivers in Texas, that death toll was 92 fatalities in 2021, an increase of 16.4 percent compared to 2020, according to TxDOT bicycle accident statistics.
Combined, pedestrian and bicyclist deaths accounted for 20 percent of fatalities on Texas roadways last year. Overall, a record-high 4,490 motor vehicle fatalities occurred in 2021 in Texas, the state's second-highest death toll in history. Only 1981 had more motor vehicle fatalities in Texas, according to TxDOT.
Negligence is a common cause
Accidents involving pedestrians or cyclists often occur because the at-fault driver was reckless or negligent. Examples of driver negligence include:
- Distracted driving (texting and driving, in particular)
- Reckless driving, such as not sharing the road with cyclists or failing to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
These are just some reasons why many accidents involving pedestrians or cyclists occur in Texas. However, each accident is different and deserves a thorough, in-depth investigation to get to the bottom of what happened and hold those responsible accountable for their actions.
What can be done to prevent pedestrian accidents?
The Texas Department of Transportation has many suggestions for preventing accidents involving pedestrians or cyclists. Such safety tips include:
- Drivers should stop and yield to pedestrians and bicyclists, especially in crosswalks.
- When turning at an intersection, drivers should yield to pedestrians and bicyclists if they have the right of way.
- When passing bicyclists on the road, drivers should share the road, keep a safe distance between their vehicle and the bike, and give cyclists plenty of room to ride.
Injured in a Laredo, TX, accident? Get justice with John.
Even if a driver clearly caused your bicycle or pedestrian accident, don't simply assume that you will be fairly compensated for your injury-related expenses.
In many cases, negligent drivers deny doing anything wrong. That's because they know there's often a lot at stake. And worst of all, the insurance company will often take the at-fault driver's side and try to reduce or deny your claim.
That's not fair. That's why we want to help. When you have our legal team on your side, you can demand the money you rightfully deserve. Then, instead of insurance companies deciding what happens next, you set the agenda.