Many residents in Texas may have found themselves in situations where they only narrowly missed being hit by a vehicle while they were on foot. Sadly, this scenario happens all too often.
As more vehicle manufacturers race to develop technologies that they include in new models to focus on accident prevention, the dangers faced by pedestrians continue.
Texas pedestrian fatalities
In 2009, 11.2% of all vehicular deaths in Texas were pedestrians according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That year, 350 people on foot died in automobile accidents. Just a decade later in 2018, pedestrians comprised 16.8% of all vehicular fatalities statewide. A total of 612 pedestrians lost their lives in vehicle crashes in Texas in 2018.
Harris County pedestrian fatalities
While Texas’ pedestrian deaths seem tragic, the realities in Harris County sadly only make matters worse. There, pedestrians accounted for 26.4% of all vehicular fatalities in 2018. In the five years spanning from 2014 through 2018, the county recorded a total of 530 pedestrian fatalities.
New vehicle technology insufficient to keep pedestrians safe
The Verge reported on a study conducted by AAA that unfortunately found new vehicle technologies promising improved pedestrian safety failed to meet the mark. When test vehicles drove at a mere 20 miles per hour in daylight conditions, they only avoided hitting adult-sized pedestrian dummies in crosswalks directly in front of the vehicles four out of 10 times. That means pedestrian accidents occurred in 60% of these test conditions. The vehicles featured systems designed to detect pedestrians and then automatically stop vehicles prior to hitting the pedestrians.