Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) December 21, 2016 – 2016 has seen an increase of pedestrian deaths in Houston.
As of October 31, there were at least 71 pedestrians killed and the number appears to be escalating every month. The increased number of accidents has the local police investigating why the numbers are on the rise.
The police have determined that many of the deaths happened when pedestrians did not use crosswalks while attempting to cross local streets or roads. Not using the crosswalks however does not appear to be the only reason for the dramatic increase in deaths. Houston urban planners postulate the increase in deaths is due to a higher number of people preferring to walk to their destinations. It appears many seniors prefer to walk to improve their health, as do millennials who would rather not drive.
The solution may lie in the city narrowing lanes, strongly emphasizing safe speeds, building more sidewalks and adding more crosswalks. It may well be that urban design is flawed, and could stand to be improved. “Of interest though is the fact that distracted walking was not mentioned,” pointed out Bobby Lee, an Austin personal injury attorney with Lee, Gober & Reyna.
Moreover, there needs to be a focus on distracted walkers who do not pay attention to where they are going. “It happens. It’s a common sight in fact,” added Lee. Combine distracted driving and distracted walking and serious injuries and possible death may result.
Texas is not the only state to witness an increase in pedestrian deaths. Figures released in October by the Department of Transport indicate that the time frame from January to June saw an increase of 10.4 percent more traffic deaths in the United States compared to the same period in 2015.
“It’s a troubling trend,” added Lee. “The society we live in today seems to be so detached from the every day reality of paying attention to the world around them and that is manifesting in accidents and deaths that could well be avoided.”
Lee, Gober & Reyna
11940 Jollyville Road #220-S
Austin, Texas 78759