Why Are These Accidents Happening?
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many gyms and recreation facilities are either closed or operating at reduced capacity. Consequently, many people have turned to outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and walking. This means there are significantly more cyclists and pedestrians on McAllen’s roadways. While fresh air and exercise are undeniably good for you, the increase in pedestrian and cycling traffic has also resulted in an unfortunate rise in bicycle and pedestrian accidents.
Did you know that in only six years, from 2010-2016, there were nearly 17,000 bicycle accidents in Texas? Over half of these accidents resulted in injuries, and there were 362 deaths. While two-thirds of the reported accidents happened on city streets, bicycle accidents can happen anywhere, including high-speed roads and highways. There were 410 bicycle crashes in Hidalgo County alone, resulting in 19 deaths – the state's fourth-highest fatality rate.
How to Prioritize Safety While Cycling
If you live in McAllen, you are living in a high-risk area for bicycle accidents. It doesn’t have to be this way. With proper safety measures, you and your family can enjoy cycling without worrying about an accident. Bicycle safety is especially important if you are cycling in congested areas or on high-speed roads.
Bicycle safety tips:
- Always wear a helmet
- Inspect your bicycle before taking it out
- Install reflectors and/or lights on your bicycle
- Wear bright or reflective clothes while riding
- Pay attention to traffic signs
- Be familiar with local traffic laws
- Pay attention to your surroundings
- Look out for hazards
- Use hand signaling
- Be especially careful when entering traffic and in intersections
We Must Keep Pedestrians Safe Too
On September 6, 2020, a teenage girl was killed in an auto-pedestrian collision in Edinburg. Her 14-year-old companion was seriously injured. According to news reports, the girls were out walking their dog when the accident occurred. This heartbreaking incident is just one of many fatal pedestrian-auto accidents.
Pedestrian accidents commonly occur around crosswalks, sidewalks, and shoulders. They also frequently occur in intersections, on highways, and when jaywalking. Motorists have a responsibility to be on the lookout for pedestrians and give them the right-of-way. However, when drivers are reckless, negligent, or driving under the influence, accidents happen, and innocent pedestrians are injured or killed.
Pedestrian Safety Tips for Adults & Children
While across the country there is a reduction in crash-related fatalities, pedestrian crash deaths have increased. According to Houston Public Media, Texas is one of the most dangerous states for pedestrians. Additionally, one-fifth of children killed in traffic-related accidents are pedestrians. Furthermore, people of color are more likely to die in traffic-pedestrian accidents. As pedestrian fatalities reach a 30-year high, it is more important than ever for pedestrians to be proactive in safety.
October is National Pedestrian Safety Month, but you can practice good pedestrian safety all year long. Whether you walk to work, the grocery store, school, or or exercise, you must remain alert and aware of potential hazards.
Pedestrian safety tips include:
- Know and follow pedestrian traffic rules
- Pay attention to signage
- Walk on designated sidewalks when possible
- Cross at designated crosswalks when available
- Look both ways before crossing the street
- Stay alert around driveways, parking lots, garages, and construction sites
- When no sidewalk is available, walk facing traffic
- Wear bright colors
- If walking at night, carry a flashlight and wear reflective clothing
The number one safety tip for pedestrians is not to assume that drivers see you. Do your best to make eye contact with an oncoming driver and stay as far away from traffic as you can.
Zambrano Law Firm Wants You to Stay Safe
While you can do your best to remain alert and prioritize your safety, you can’t guarantee against a pedestrian or bicycle accident. Though we hope this is not something you ever have to face, our McAllen pedestrian and bicycle accident lawyers are standing by to help if tragedy does strike. We offer every client compassionate legal guidance. At the Zambrano Law Firm, we work hard to help our clients get the compensation they need to heal and move on from an accident.
To discuss your case with an injury attorney experienced in handling pedestrian and bicycle accident cases, contact the Zambrano Law Firm at (956) 627-0908.