You can be sure that Austin Car Wrecks involving pedestrians will increase significantly during the Austin X-Games this weekend. Vehicle-Pedestrian Collisions have been steadily increasing in Austin as the population growth has continued in recent years. The influx of people for the X-games this weekend will result in more traffic congestion and more people viewing the sights and sounds of X-game events by foot. As a result, this could be a very dangerous weekend for pedestrians in Austin.
Pedestrians injured in an Austin Car Wreck can obviously result in serious injuries and even death. In 2015, there were 30 fatalities resulting from vehicle-pedestrian collisions in Austin.
There are several reasons Pedestrians in Austin are being injured at an increased rate:
First, Austin traffic is seemingly becoming more congested by the day. More cars on the road means more chances that one of these vehicles will disregard pedestrian crosswalks and cause serious injuries.
Second, distracted drivers in Austin cause all kinds of injury accidents, but such dangerous conduct can prove fatal in a vehicle-pedestrian collision. Although cell phone use is an obvious culprit of distracted driving in Austin, not everything can be blamed on driving and texting. The use of navigation systems in many cars, the availability of touch screen interfaces in the driver's compartment, and the ability to use other portable devices (i.e. iPods and the like) all contribute to the increase in distracted driving.
Finally, many motorists simply do not understand the rules of the road when it comes to pedestrians. The right of way rules in Texas are different depending on whether the intersection is controlled by a traffic signal. Here are some easy pointers to remember when approaching any intersection in our City:
If there is no traffic signal at the intersection
A driver must yield the right of way to a pedestrian walking in a crosswalk if there is no traffic light.
A driver must yield the right of way to a pedestrian in a crosswalk even if the pedestrian is walking from the other half of the roadway. In other words, even if the pedestrian is not right in front of you, they still have the right of way as long as they are in the crosswalk.
If there is a traffic signal controlling the intersection
This is a bit easier. A motorist must yield the right of way to a pedestrian as long as the "Walk" signal is illuminated.
Note, a motorist must yield the right of way to a pedestrian who is walking in a crosswalk even when the signal turns to "Don't Walk" or "Wait." So, as long as the pedestrian has entered the crosswalk under a "Walk" signal, they maintain the right of way even after the signal changes.
These rules are easy to follow. But for some reason, Austin vehicle-pedestrian fatalities are increasing.