Pedestrians, bicyclists account for 20% of Texas traffic deaths: TxDOT

One in five fatalities on Texas roads last year involved pedestrians and bicyclists, so TxDOT is reminding Texans to follow the laws for safe driving, walking and biking.

TxDOT says that in 2021, 841 people died in pedestrian traffic crashes and 92 people died in crashes involving bicyclists, accounting for 20 percent of the nearly 4,500 fatalities on Texas roads.

TxDOT is reminding all Texans through its "Be Safe. Drive Smart." campaign to know and follow the laws, including the Lisa Torry Smith Act, which went into effect last year. The law was named after a Texas mom who was struck and killed in a crosswalk while walking her six-year-old son to school and requires drivers stop and yield the right of way to people in crosswalks. Motorists who fail to stop and yield and cause serious injury to someone in a crosswalk can face criminal penalties.

Texas law states if you’re driving:

  • Stop and yield for pedestrians, bicyclists and other vulnerable road users in crosswalks
  • When turning, yield the right of way to pedestrians and bicyclists
  • Pass bikes at a safe distance and give bicyclists room to ride

If you’re walking:

  • Cross the street only at intersections and crosswalks
  • Obey all traffic and crosswalk signals
  • Use sidewalks and if there is no sidewalk, walk on the left side of the road, facing oncoming traffic.

If you’re riding a bike:

  • Always stop at red lights and stop signs
  • Ride in the same direction as traffic and use bike lanes or ride as near as possible to the right-hand curb
  • Use hand signals when turning or stopping
  • At night, make sure your bike has a white light on the front and a red light or reflector on the back

TxDOT says that the "Be Safe. Drive Smart." campaign is part of its #EndtheStreakTX effort to help end the streak of daily deaths on Texas roadways. The last deathless day for Texas roads was Nov. 7, 2000, almost 22 years ago.