HOUSTON – Pedestrians account for 1 in 5 traffic fatalities in Texas, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.
In 2021, 5,366 traffic crashes involving pedestrians occurred in Texas, and as a result 841 people were killed, a 15% increase in pedestrian fatalities over the previous year. Another 1,470 people were seriously injured.
In the Houston area in 2021, there were 1,466 traffic crashes involving pedestrians, resulting in 204 fatalities and 383 serious injuries.
This week, TxDOT is launching its “Be Safe. Drive Smart” pedestrian safety campaign.
Houston area mother Lisa Torry Smith was killed in a pedestrian crash in a Missouri City crosswalk in October 2017 while she was walking her 6 year-old son to school. She is at the center of TxDOT’s new campaign.
Elliot Smith, Lisa’s husband, appeared on KPRC 2+ to share his family’s story and encourage drivers and pedestrians to look out for each other. Watch the full interview in the video player at the top of the page.
TxDOT offers these safety reminders to prevent a deadly encounter:
- Stop for pedestrians in crosswalks.
- When turning, yield the right of way to pedestrians.
- Be cautious when passing stopped buses or other vehicles.
- Pay attention and put your phone away, so you’re always prepared if pedestrians enter your path.
- Follow the posted speed limit and drive to conditions.
- Cross the street only at intersections and crosswalks. Look left, right, then left again before crossing.
- Make eye contact with drivers before crossing. Don’t assume drivers see you.
- Follow all traffic and crosswalk signals.
- Use the sidewalk. If there isn’t one, walk on the left side of the road, facing oncoming traffic.
- When walking, put away electronic devices that take your eyes and ears off the road.
- Wear reflective materials or use a flashlight at night.