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Pedestrians at risk in Texas, across U.S.

In the last few decades, the number of people opting to get outside and walk or run has been on the rise and awareness of the importance of activity in a healthy lifestyle has grown. Sadly, when taking to the streets on foot, people end up facing new risks to their health in the form of negligent drivers. More pedestrians are dying across the United States and in Texas than in previous years.

The Fort Worth Star Telegram reported that only seven states experienced more pedestrian deaths in 2018 than Texas according to the Pedestrian Danger Index. The number of pedestrians killed nationally increased every year between 2008 and 2018. The problem has been noted especially in urban areas where populations keep soaring, causing greater congestion.

Records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that in 2013, pedestrians accounted for 13.5% of all traffic fatalities in Texas. In 2018, by comparison, pedestrians accounted for nearly 17% of all traffic fatalities statewide. In Harris County, the situation is even worse.

In 2013, pedestrians represented 21.5% of all people killed in vehicular accidents in Harris County. That skyrocketed to 32.5% the following year and then dropped for two years in a row, first to 29% and then to 23.7%. However, 2018 saw another increase when people on foot represented more than one in four deaths in Harris County as 26.4% of all traffic fatalities were pedestrians. Distracted driving, busier roads and larger vehicles that cause more serious injuries are just some of the factors believed to play a role in these tragic trends.