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Pedestrian Safety Tips in Houston

Being a pedestrian in Texas is dangerous. While Houston pedestrians have as much right to use the roadways as others, they suffer significantly more risks accessing highways for transportation. An everyday commute to work, shopping, or to visit with friends on foot can equal a life-or-death situation.

Strictly following pedestrian laws in Houston does not prevent tragedy from striking. Contact a Houston pedestrian accident lawyer if you have been injured while commuting as a pedestrian in Texas. Farah Law also recommends the following pedestrian safety tips in Houston to avoid becoming the victim of an accident.

Are Houston Pedestrians More at Risk Than Other Texas Commuters?

A brief look at the number of pedestrian accidents in Texas highlights the vulnerabilities pedestrians face daily. According to recent statistics:

  • Pedestrian fatalities in Texas increased 30% over five years.
  • One in five deaths on Texas highways is a pedestrian.
  • There were 5,766 pedestrian accidents recorded in one year in Texas.
  • Pedestrians account for 201 annual highway deaths in Houston.
  • Most pedestrian fatalities in Houston occur between 8:00 pm and 11:00 pm.

Taking personal action to prevent pedestrian injury or death is crucial. Both drivers and pedestrians play a significant role in protecting the highway's most vulnerable users.

Remain Aware of Your Surroundings to Prevent Houston Pedestrian Injuries

These safety tips can keep pedestrians aware of their surroundings and often provide time to react in an emergency. Distracted driving remains a significant factor in Texas highway accidents. Distracted walking can also contribute to the risk of injury and death. Pedestrians should consider the following safety tips:

  • Avoid talking on a phone, texting, or wearing earbuds and sound-canceling devices while crossing Houston roads.
  • When possible, refrain from using mobile devices while commuting on foot to remain diligent. If you are using a navigation app, stop walking when you need to verify the directions.
  • Never cross the street between obstacles that may keep you from a driver's view, such as between buses, parked vehicles, or large signs.
  • Always walk on the sidewalk when one is present. Walk on the shoulder of the road facing traffic when there is no sidewalk.
  • Refrain from using alcohol and drugs while commuting on foot. These substances minimize decision-making abilities and often lead to pedestrians taking unnecessary chances.

Just because you see a moving vehicle does not mean its driver sees you. Any action preventing pedestrians from noticing the traffic around them or leading to risky behaviors should be avoided until you arrive safely at your destination.

Maintain Heightened Awareness After Dark

Pedestrians can become invisible on roadways when the sun goes down. Headlights, lit roadside signs, and other distractions can make a pedestrian almost imperceptible to a car traveling at any speed. There are simple actions a pedestrian can take to increase their visibility at night:

  • Wear brightly colored clothing or reflective gear to make pedestrians more visible in the dark.
  • Cross the highway in a lit area, specifically in lit areas designated as pedestrian crossings.
  • Carry a flashlight and / or wear a headlamp or strobing light to reinforce a pedestrian's location at night.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, enhanced lighting at intersections reduces pedestrian injury crashes at night by 42%. It may be worth your safety to walk the extra distance to cross at a well-lit crossing zone, a crosswalk with reflective markings, or a crossing adequately marked with signs.

Crossing the Road in Houston Requires Pedestrian Participation

Pedestrians should never assume that drivers will see them or stop when traffic signals warn them. Recent annual data shows that 365,937 individuals were either killed or injured as a result of distracted driving in the U.S. Before crossing the street in Houston:

  • Ensure you only cross the street at a designated crosswalk or intersection.
  • Obey crosswalk and traffic signals.
  • Look left, right, then left again before proceeding into the street.
  • Make eye contact with the driver to ensure a driver sees you.
  • Yield the right-of-way to other motorists when crosswalks are unavailable.
  • Survey all the lanes of traffic on a multilane highway when crossing the street.
  • Never cross freeways on foot.

Alert pedestrians in Houston lessen the chance of injury and death when following these safety tips. Insurance companies have become less willing to compensate pedestrians struck by vehicles due to jaywalking.

How Houston Drivers Can Ensure the Safety of Pedestrians

Drivers have just as much responsibility for pedestrian safety as someone who commutes on foot. Houston drivers can protect Houston pedestrians by taking these precautions during their daily commute:

  • Obey all posted speed limits.
  • Slow down when weather conditions are unfavorable.
  • Minimize speed when approaching a crosswalk.
  • Never use a phone while driving.
  • Yield to pedestrians at crosswalks.
  • Yield the right of way to pedestrians when you are turning.
  • Be aware of the visual barriers that prevent you from seeing pedestrians.

The human body is no match for the impact of a motor vehicle. Not only may drivers face charges and be liable for the damages to pedestrians, but a pedestrian death is a permanent reminder of a driver's choice to operate an automobile unsafely.

Pedestrian Safety Tips and Railways in Houston

Pedestrians should apply the same rules for highway safety to situations involving Houston's METRORAIL. At train occupying crossings:

  • Pedestrians should not move in front of, under, between, or through moving or stationary train cars.
  • Only cross when signals indicate it is safe to do so.
  • Consider the distance a train will need to slow down or come to a complete stop.

Following these Texas pedestrian laws will provide a safer commute and reduce your risk of liability in a pedestrian accident.

Top Dangers to Pedestrian Safety

The top contributors to pedestrian accidents in Texas include:

  • Speeding
  • Inattentive driving or driving while distracted
  • Drivers who fail to yield right-of-way to pedestrians
  • Pedestrians who fail to yield right-of-way to oncoming traffic

Contact a Houston Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

Farah Law is committed to the safety of Texas pedestrians and will work to secure the compensation you deserve for your injuries in a Houston pedestrian accident. Your successful recovery may depend on compensation to cover costly medical treatment. Let us go to work for you if you have been injured in a pedestrian accident in Houston.