With significant city growth comes a plethora of opportunities, not to mention the pride of watching one’s surroundings thrive as a community. In addition to hot spots such as Denver and Nashville, areas in Texas are also on the up-and-up. San Antonio has long been known for its popular urban attractions blended with a rich history. But as with many major cities, traffic safety has become a growing concern alongside these attractions.
Each year, the League of American Bicyclists releases a report card for each state on bicycle safety. In 2015, Texas ranked number 25 on the list, receiving high scores on areas in Evaluation and Planning, as well as Education and Encouragement. However, the report shows that the state could improve in its overall accident prevention methods. While federal funding on bicycling and walking is somewhat lacking in the state, the League offers some praise for Texas by acknowledging TxDOT’s plans to make bicycling safer. In the fiscal years 2017 to 2019, TxDOT noted plans to add $70 million in funds toward pedestrian planning and investments. Texas may not rank highly on the League’s safety list, but appears to show awareness of pedestrian safety with plans to improve.
The Texas A&M Transportation Institute provides different observations on the state’s current safety efforts, noting that the Federal Highway Administration considers Texas a “focus state” for its high number of pedestrian accidents. A shocking average of 400 pedestrians died per year as a result of roadside accidents between 2007 and 2011. According the the TTI, the most common factors involved in pedestrian accidents are as follows:
- Vehicle factors
- Driver factors
- Pedestrian factors
- Roadway/environmental factors
- Demographic/social/policy factors
Although there is much room for improvement in regards to the state’s safety efforts, the Transportation Institute makes clear that technologies such as the pedestrian hybrid beacon and the rectangular rapid-flashing beacon have drastically improved driver yielding rates in areas statewide. There are, of course, many aspects to consider when enhancing safety for pedestrians, but the TTI highlights the most common factors involved in pedestrian accidents.