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Dallas Launches A Pedestrian Safety Action Plan

Posted March 15, 2023 | Uncategorized

Dallas Launches A Pedestrian Safety Action Plan

The Dallas-Fort Worth metro area is a fantastic location with impressive growth and variety. The increasing level of activity can mean higher odds of danger for anyone traveling in the city, including pedestrians.

Residents should learn about a new safety action plan that intends to make walking around the city safer. Inhabitants of DFW should also learn how to respond after a pedestrian accident.

Reasons for DFW To Consider Pedestrian Safety

The Federal Highway Administration recently published concerning data on pedestrian fatalities. After reviewing this information, the Governors Highway Safety Association and the FHWA took steps to promote pedestrian safety in Texas, with a particular focus on DFW.

The number of pedestrian deaths in traffic accidents across the nation began to taper in 2019. However, 54% of all pedestrian deaths occurred in only seven states, and Texas is unfortunate enough to be on that list. Another sad reality was that the increase in pedestrian fatalities was 46%. At the same time, all other traffic deaths only saw an increase of 5%.

People usually expect pedestrian fatalities to be high in urban areas because more people walk as an everyday mode of transportation. Dallas proudly ranks as one of the 10 most populous cities in the nation.

However, statistics show that five of the nation’s 10 most populous cities experienced decreases in pedestrian deaths at points, while the other five saw a continual increase. Dallas was one of the cities with escalating numbers, highlighting the need for action in DFW.

Steps To Stop the Trend

After reviewing this data, the FHWA designated Texas as a Pedestrian Focus Approach State. The North Central Texas Council of Governments also reviewed the data and acknowledged that the rate of pedestrian fatalities in its 12 counties is consistently above the national average.

The NCTCOG subsequently crafted a Regional Pedestrian Safety Action Plan. On June 10, 2021, the Regional Transportation Council took steps to implement the PSAP. The PSAP works along with the NCTCOG’s Mobility Plan for transportation to focus more on pedestrian safety. The PSAP will receive annual updates to adapt to the monitoring and outcomes of the program.

The Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee also supports the efforts of the NCTCOG. The BPAC offers insight through the following:

  • Reviewing pedestrian and bicycle planning
  • Providing input regarding the selection of pedestrian and bicycle projects that the NCTCOG and the Regional Transportation Council funds
  • Sharing technical knowledge
  • Handling public outreach support

The BPAC has quarterly meetings to work on these goals for increasing pedestrian safety.

How To Avoid an Accident as a Pedestrian

Bringing the city up to a safe standard for pedestrians will take time. The Texas Department of Transportation mentions that it welcomes public input as it implements initiatives.

As with other cities, the number of pedestrian deaths will likely decrease gradually, and setbacks may occur. For example, the GHSA mentions that San Diego showed a significant spike in 2018 but was able to reduce the number of fatalities in 2019. In contrast, though Houston saw a dip in 2018, the number surged even above 2017 rates in 2019.

With that in mind, pedestrians in DFW can take the following practical steps to avoid accidents.

Staying Alert

Distracted driving is not the only danger on the roads. People walking in a location should stay alert and use devices safely.

At intersections and crosswalks, pedestrians need to look both ways and not assume vehicles see them or will stop. Alertness also applies to watching out for parked cars that can become rapidly mobile in an instant.

Drunk or drugged walking can lead to unwise decisions that result in danger. Even if a person does not plan on driving while having a fun night on the town, overindulgence can still be dangerous.

Remaining Visible

Pedestrians should avoid walking on busy roads at night if possible. Even during the day, drivers traveling down the highway can have difficulty seeing someone walking.

If a person must walk at night, bright clothes and lights are a good idea. Planning a route for well-lit areas can also avert danger. Another critical reminder is walking toward traffic so a person can anticipate hazards and reduce the odds of a vehicle striking a pedestrian from behind.

Using Sidewalks and Designated Crossing Areas

Pedestrians should stay off the road when possible. Routes with sidewalks are the safest, and crosswalks and cross streets are the right spots for passing through intersections.

Though pedestrians have the right of way in many cases, the rule does not apply to all circumstances. Courts consider the negligence of all parties to an accident, and a pedestrian can be responsible for a collision.

What To Do in Case of an Accident

Despite a person’s efforts, accidents will occur. Many of the same steps drivers must take after a crash apply to pedestrians.

Get to a Safe Location

All parties to the accident should try to get out of the way of danger by moving a safe distance from the road if possible. If that is not practical, someone should try to set up a way to alert other drivers to proceed with caution in the area.

Note Pertinent Details

Some motorists might try to flee the scene, reasoning that a pedestrian will have difficulty locating them. A pedestrian accident victim should note the vehicle’s color, make and model. Above all, the license plate is a vital detail that helps the authorities to track the driver down.

Motorists will usually remain at the scene. A pedestrian should obtain the driver’s name, telephone number, insurance policy and driver’s license number.

Call for Help

Any injuries require the intervention of the police and emergency services. The report to the police and official medical details can prove crucial if a party to the collision files a claim. The assistance of an experienced accident attorney helps an injured person determine the steps for legal action and dealing with the insurance companies.

Attorneys Who Can Assist With Pedestrian Accidents

Fielding Law deals exclusively with accident and personal injury claims. We are a firm people can turn to for support after a pedestrian accident in Dallas. If you or someone you love is coping with the aftermath of a pedestrian accident, contact the team at Fielding Law for a free case evaluation.