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By the numbers: Pedestrian accidents in Texas and beyond

The Governor's Highway Safety Association recently released a report that shows that a crucial element of traffic safety is quickly getting much worse. According to the organization, the number of pedestrian accidents resulting in deaths has grown sharply in recent years.

In the 10-year period that ended in 2017, pedestrian fatalities grew by 35 percent from 4,414 in 2008 to 5,977 in 2017. In that same period, traffic deaths in all other categories dropped by six percent.

That means that pedestrian fatalities as a percentage of all motor vehicle accident deaths rose from 12 percent to 16 percent in that decade.

The recent study by the GHSA is based on data from all 50 states and Washington D.C. The authors noted that there was an “alarming rise in pedestrian deaths observed in both 2015 and 2016” that resumed again last year when more than 6,200 pedestrians were killed in crashes across the U.S.

Unfortunately, Texas is one of the problem states. We are one of seven states (along with California, Florida, Georgia, New York, Arizona and North Carolina) expected to have more than 100 pedestrian deaths this year. We’re also one of the five states (Texas, California, Florida, Arizona and Georgia) that account for nearly half (46 percent) of all pedestrian fatalities.

We’re trending in the wrong direction as well. In the first six months of 2017, there were 266 pedestrian fatalities in Texas (only Florida and California had higher totals). In the first six months of last year, there were 298 pedestrian deaths, accounting for an increase of 12 percent.

We do not yet know how lawmakers in Houston and across the state will respond to the data or if they will respond at all. We do know that many families who lose a loved one to a careless driver opt to pursue justice with the help of an attorney devoted to personal injury litigation.

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