Bicyclist and Pedestrian Fatalities Continue to Rise

The Texas Department of Transportation urges motorists to remain aware of pedestrians and bicyclists when sharing the road to ensure everyone arrives home safely.

November 7, 2000 was the last day no one in Texas died on its roadways.

To end the streak of daily deaths on Texas roads, the Texas Department of Transportation warns drivers to use caution and be especially careful with sharing the road with pedestrians and bicyclists.

Even though the number of 2020 traffic crashes declined, people killed while walking and biking on Texas roads increased dramatically. Department of Transportation statistics reveals that pedestrian and bicyclist deaths account for “one in five of all traffic fatalities in the state.”

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, “Last year, 731 people died in pedestrian-related crashes, an increase of 9% from 2019. Crashes involving bicyclists claimed the lives of 82 people, up from 68 deaths the previous year.”

These fatalities indicate an increasing trend over the last five years.

“More than 800 people lost their lives last year while walking and biking on Texas roads. Even one death is too many,” said TxDOT Executive Director Marc Williams. “Whether you’re behind the wheel, on foot, or riding a bicycle, we’re reminding all Texans that they need to be safe and smart, and that starts with paying attention to driving and obeying traffic laws.”

Texas motorists are required by law to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks, yield the right of way to pedestrians and cyclists when turning, and pass bicyclists at a safe distance. Since walkers and bikers are more likely to be seriously injured when involved in a crash with a motor vehicle, law officials are serious about enforcement.

According to Texas law, here are some things to remember when sharing the road with motor vehicles.

Biking Basics

  • Obey all traffic signs and signals
  • Use hand signals when turning and stopping
  • Ride with traffic using a bike lane or as near as possible to the right-hand curb

When biking after dark, ensure your bike has a white light on the front and a red light or reflector on the back.

Pedestrian Principles

  • Cross only at intersections and crosswalks
  • Obey all traffic and crosswalk signals
  • Use sidewalks

If walking where there is no sidewalk, pedestrians should walk on the left side of the roadway, facing oncoming traffic.

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