Traffic

The arrival of fall brings dangerous road conditions for pedestrians

Pedestrian deaths make up almost 19% of all traffic deaths, despite only 1% of crashes in Texas involving pedestrians.

Pedestrians at Hillcroft and Bellaire in Gulfton
Gail Delaughter
Pedestrians at Hillcroft and Bellaire in Gulfton

The arrival of fall brings less daylight with it.

While Daylight savings time does not end until November, it starts to get darker in October, making it a dangerous month for pedestrians.

The Texas Department of Transportation is using October's National Pedestrian Safety Month to urge drivers to be mindful of pedestrians on the road.

"As we shift to fewer hours of daylight, it's up to drivers and pedestrians to adapt and help keep our roads safe," said TxDOT Executive Director Marc Williams in a press release. "Motorists need to stay alert and look for people walking, and pedestrians can take measures to be seen by drivers who may be inattentive behind the wheel."

Last October saw the highest number of pedestrian crashes, according to the Department of Transportation.

In response to it, the department has unveiled its "Be Safe. Drive Smart" campaign to remind Texans to be mindful of the pedestrians on the road.

Pedestrian deaths make up almost 19% of all traffic deaths, despite only 1% of crashes in Texas involving pedestrians. Following national trends, pedestrian traffic fatalities in Texas increased by approximately 29.6%.

"In 2022, 5,764 traffic crashes involving pedestrians occurred in Texas, resulting in 829 deaths and 1,526 serious injuries," a press release by the department said.

The department is running a campaign that includes additional billboards and digital advertising, TV and radio spots and will bring more than 30 walking billboards — street teams wearing sandwich boards to towns with the highest rate of pedestrian-related crashes.

In addition, the department asks drivers to yield the right of way to pedestrians and be cautious when passing, among other things.

The department asks pedestrians to be mindful of the traffic flow and put away their electronics while walking. The department’s pedestrian safety campaign is a key part of their effort to #EndTheStreakTX, an effort that works towards encouraging drivers to make safer choices while driving. The last day without a death on Texas's roadways was on Nov. 7, 2000.