There were nearly 6,000 traffic crashes in Texas in 2018 that involved a pedestrian, resulting in 632 deaths, according to Texas Department of Transportation data.
Now, the TxDOT has launched a new campaign to prevent traffic crashes involving pedestrians. The ‘Be Safe. Drive Smart.’ campaign offers tips for both drivers and pedestrians to better equip themselves for safety on the roads.
“Life can change in an instant, you really can’t be too careful and people should always just be aware,” TxDOT spokesperson Jennifer Wright said. “While they’re driving, pay attention and drive. While you’re walking, pay attention. Make sure that drivers see you.”
Wright said that as temperatures get cooler, more people are comfortable taking walks, even as the sun begins to set earlier.
Drivers are urged to reduce their speed when approaching crosswalks and to yield the right of way to pedestrians. They are also asked to stay alert and be aware of pedestrians who enter the road suddenly.
Pedestrians are urged to always cross at marked crosswalks and intersections, and to make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street. Devices can be distracting, and it is recommended that pedestrians not take their eyes and ears off the road. They are asked to use sidewalks, and if no sidewalk is available, to walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic.
“Pedestrians have to take a lot of responsibility in this and one of the things that pedestrians need to be aware of is that their behavior needs to be predictable so drivers are not surprised,” Wright said.
The campaign is being rolled out throughout the state this fall.