Dallas Among Deadliest Cities for Pedestrians

Pedestrian crossing the road | Image by Jaromir Chalabala

The City of Dallas is one of the most dangerous cities for pedestrians, according to a new study from ValuePenguin. 

Researchers analyzed data on pedestrian deaths from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) between 2016 and 2020. The data was collected from 70 municipalities with populations of at least 50,000 residents. 

The City of Dallas had five of the 25 roadways with the most pedestrian deaths by city. These roads were Loop 12 with 34 deaths, I-35 with 28, I-635 with 20, I-30 with 17, and I-20 with 11 deaths. 

The study also recorded that interstates and highways had the greatest number of fatalities, with interstates accounting for 758 deaths, or 23.6% of the total, and highways for 451 deaths, or 14% of the total. 

“Highways tend to carry large volumes of traffic at high speeds,” said Divya Sangameshwar, an auto insurance expert with ValuePenguin. “They don’t have defined pedestrian walkways either, forcing pedestrians to walk on the road and putting them at much greater risk. Meanwhile, rural farm-to-market roads — which can be narrow, dusty, dark and, in many cases, without any lane markings — are very risky for pedestrians who may not be able to see oncoming vehicles.”

Dallas was ranked third in Texas in terms of pedestrian deaths, having 286 total accidents resulting in 289 fatalities or 2.20 fatalities per 10,000 people. Dallas was only beaten by Galveston (3.00) and Beaumont (2.71). 

North Texas cities with no pedestrian deaths included Flower Mound and Frisco. 

Sangameshwar urged drivers and pedestrians to practice safety. 

“Pedestrians are among the most vulnerable road users because they aren’t equipped with protective equipment such as airbags, seat belts, and bumpers, so drivers need to be watchful for pedestrians and do their part to keep them safe,” said Sangameshwar. 

“It’s also important for pedestrians to stay safe on the roads. You should only cross the street at marked intersections or crosswalks, and even if the roads are empty, look left, right, then left again before crossing.”

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) reported that October 2022 was a particularly dangerous month for pedestrians in Texas, with 5,764 traffic crashes occurring involving pedestrians, which resulted in 829 deaths and 1,526 serious injuries. 

Despite only 1% of crashes in Texas involving pedestrians, the deaths from such accidents account for 19% of all traffic-related deaths, according to TxDOT. 

TxDOT said that pedestrian traffic fatalities have risen 29.6% in the past five years.

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