Pedestrian deaths continue to rise in Texas

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- In Texas, pedestrian deaths continue to rise and now account for one in five of all traffic fatalities, according to data from the Texas Department of Transportation.

In 2019, 5,975 traffic crashes involving pedestrians happened in Texas, resulting in 669 deaths, a 5% increase in deaths over the previous year.

The main causes, according to crash reports from law enforcement, are pedestrians who fail to follow traffic safety laws and are hit while crossing the street, motorists failing to yield the right of way, driving distracted or speeding. Alcohol is also a common factor.

TxDOT shared some tips to keep everyone safe.

Drivers should yield to pedestrians when turning, stop at crosswalks and look for people walking around stopped buses and other vehicles.

Pedestrians should cross only at intersections and crosswalks, look left right left before crossing and try to make eye contact with drivers. Also, use the sidewalk or walk on the left side of the street facing oncoming traffic.

TxDOT also suggests you should wear bright or reflective clothing or use a flashlight at night.

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Drivers and pedestrians should also put the phone away. Beware of "distracted walking." As a pedestrian, you are much more vulnerable than a driver in the car who has the benefit of seatbelts, airbags and bumpers.

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