Over the last decade, the number of Americans killed while walking increased by 35%, and 2016 was the deadliest year for pedestrians since 1990. According to the "Pedestrian Danger Index," created by Smart Growth America and the National Complete Streets Coalition, Texas is ranked as the eighth most dangerous state for pedestrians. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that there were 619 pedestrian fatalities in Texas during 2018.
A $10 million lawsuit was filed against the city of Tempe, Arizona after a woman was killed by an autonomous Uber vehicle. The suit states that the Arizona suburb created a dangerous situation by installing a brick pathway across the median where people were not allowed to cross the road. Essentially, city officials paved a walkway for jaywalkers. The suit seeks $5 million in damages each for the surviving husband and daughter of the 49-year-old woman killed in the collision. While the city's spokesperson could not comment directly on the case, she has stated that the suburb has since landscaped the median in place of the walkway.
According to a recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report, highway fatalities are down for the past two years. The data for the first six months of 2018 further indicates the downward trend is continuing into this year.
In March of 2016, a pedestrian was struck by a car at the Whittier Uptown Association's Farmers Market. The driver of the vehicle was a vendor at the market, and she struck the pedestrian while backing out of her parking spot. The death was ruled an accident, but the family of the pedestrian sued both the driver and the Whittier Uptown Association.
Pedestrian fatalities have risen 46 percent since 2009 while overall traffic fatalities are up only 11 percent. Many experts agree that distraction is a factor in pedestrian crashes and that combating both distracted driving and walking would help reduce the number of incidents, injuries, and deaths.
Erlene Gomez, 91, died Thursday night after being struck by a hit-and-run driver at Heights Boulevard and 15th Street in the Heights in Houston. According to KHOU News, Gomez was struck from behind by a white Toyota SUV while walking down 15th Street after getting off a bus. According to a witness, the driver left the scene slowly, and police believe the driver lives in the neighborhood.
On Tuesday afternoon, a pedestrian was struck and killed by a bus in downtown Houston. According to investigators, the pedestrian was walking near St. Joseph Medical Center when she was struck by a First Class Tours bus. The woman, whose name has not been released by investigators, died at the scene. Investigators have not determined if the woman was in the crosswalk or if the light was green at the time. This incident is the second incident this year in which a pedestrian was struck and killed by a bus in downtown Houston. In January, a pedestrian was crossing the street when he was struck and killed by a METRO bus in downtown Houston. Unfortunately, the number of pedestrian fatalities in Houston has steadily increased every year since at least 2013.
Family members are grieving the untimely death this week of a woman who was struck by a pickup. It happened on Monday during morning rush hour. At about 6:00 a.m., the lady was trying to catch a bus. She was crossing the 11,300 block of Beechnut when she was hit by a Toyota Tacoma. A witness found her body on the ground and called 911. After the police arrived and questioned the driver, he was released; evidently, the woman was not in a crosswalk when she entered Beechnut to flag down a Metro bus. The lady, whose name has not been released, was pronounced dead at the scene.
A woman who left the scene of a collision which claimed the life of a teenage pedestrian has been arrested and charged with a felony and a misdemeanor.
A man was killed Saturday night after he was hit by a car while trying to cross South Gessner, authorities said. The collision happened just before midnight, the 66-year-old was walking south across the eastbound lanes in the 8600 block when a 29-year-old in a Chevy Malibu crashed into him, a police spokeswoman said Sunday. The driver said he didn't see the pedestrian come out of the middle median until it was too late to stop, according to initial reports. The driver was not arrested for this incident and the cause of why he did not see the man is not known. One of those reasons could be was that the driver was distracted. Unfortunately, we know people who drive while on the cellphone or are distracted by some new gadget.