New TxDOT campaign to help lower number of crashes involving pedestrians

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AUSTIN, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) — TxDOT is launching a new safety campaign to remind drivers and pedestrians to slow down, be alert and obey traffic laws.

The goal of the BE SMART. DRIVE SAFE. campaign is to reduce the number of crashes involving pedestrians.

Last year, there were 5,694 traffic crashes involving pedestrians in Texas, resulting in 632 deaths and 1,205 serious injuries.

The top factors contributing to these crashes were pedestrians failing to yield the right of way to vehicles, drivers failing to yield the right of way to pedestrians, driver inattention and failure to control speed.

TxDOT offers the following tips to help keep pedestrians safe:

If you’re driving . . .

  • Reduce your speed when approaching crosswalks and stop for pedestrians.
  • Yield the right of way to pedestrians when turning.
  • Be careful when passing buses or stopped vehicles.
  • Stay alert and put your phone away—pedestrians may enter your path suddenly.
  • Obey the speed limit and drive to conditions

If you’re walking . . .

  • Use sidewalks whenever they’re available. If there’s no sidewalk, walk on the left side of the road facing traffic.
  • Always cross at intersections or marked crosswalks. Look left, then right, then left again before proceeding.
  • Make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street. Never assume a driver sees you.
  • Be visible. Wear something light or reflective after dark.
  • Don’t be distracted by devices that take your eyes and ears off the road.
  • As a passenger, get in or out of a vehicle on the curbside of the street.

TxDOT officials also want to remember that whether you’re driving or walking, alcohol can impair your judgment, coordination and reaction times.

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