It’s no secret that Houston is home to bad drivers; however, the city has seen an uptick of fatal hit-and-runs reflecting reckless driving behavior. Over the course of one evening, three pedestrians were killed in separate fatal car accidents across the city. In all three accidents, the drivers fled the scene of the crime. Two of the fatal auto-pedestrian accidents involved being hit while crossing the street, one in which a bicyclist was crossing the street, hit by a truck, and dragged underneath it. Tragic evenings such as this serve as an outcry for improvements to pedestrian and bicyclist safety efforts citywide as well as increased enforcement of safe driving.
Hit-and-Runs by the Numbers
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s most recent study on hit-and-runs found a hit-and-run accident occurs across the country nearly every minute. Collectively, these incidents resulted in the deaths of more than 2,049 people; and, 65% of those killed were pedestrians or cyclists. Since 2009, hit-and-run accidents have increased by 60% and continue to grow each year. With a 7.2% average annual increase since 2009, hit-and-run accident statistics paint a grim picture for drivers and pedestrians if no action is taken to improve roadway safety for pedestrians, cyclists, and others.
What Can Be Done?
Citywide infrastructure improvements that could increase safety include increased lighting on city roads and highways, appropriately marked and clearly visible metered crosswalks, designated bike lanes, and extending sidewalks.
In addition to infrastructure efforts, drivers can help by obeying traffic laws. In Texas, failing to stop and render aid is a third-degree felony if serious injuries result from the accident; a fatal motor vehicle accident could lead to second-degree felony charges as well. Drivers who recklessly endanger others and attempt to dodge responsibility for their actions are the reason Texas roads have not seen a day without a fatal accident in two decades.
Drivers can help make the roads a better place for pedestrians and cyclists by avoiding behavior that increases the likelihood of an accident. Distracted driving is all too common; and, drivers who choose to engage in activities like texting, talking on the phone, playing with the radio, eating, or any other action that takes their attention off of the road should be aware that no matter how small the action, it takes only a few seconds to change someone’s life forever. No one under any circumstance should ever get behind the wheel if they have been drinking or are impaired. Unfortunately for Houstonians, our city is one of the worst in the country for fatal accidents involving drunk or otherwise impaired drivers. Over a 15-year period from 2001 to 2016, more than 3,000 people were killed in accidents involving drunk or drugged drivers. Drivers can help reduce this statistic by choosing not to drive when impaired.
Houston Hit-and-Run Attorneys
Houston is a major metropolitan city that sprawls for miles and miles. To avoid driving in Houston is to avoid life almost all together. Regardless of traffic, no Houstonian should fear for their safety when walking their dog, crossing the street, or riding a bike. Reckless drivers who endanger the lives of others should be held accountable for the damages their actions cause. If you or a loved one was seriously injured or killed due by a negligent driver, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact us today for a free consultation.