Austin saw an increase in 2019 in the number of traffic deaths. This increase is the first since 2015 when 102 people lost their lives on Austin city roads. Last year, the total was 88.
Authorities are concerned about the number of pedestrian traffic fatalities, which rose from 31 to 36 in 2019. Almost half were killed on service roads or highways. Another cause of these deaths was when pedestrians entered an area that didn’t have a crosswalk.
By the middle of February 2020, 17 people had already died in traffic-related incidents. In the same time frame last year, there were seven deaths.
Nineteen of the pedestrians killed last year were homeless. Last year was the first year the city started tracking whether victims were homeless.
Some factors that led to the fatalities included:
- Failing to yield
- Distracted driving
- Impaired driving
According to a safety officer with the Austin Transportation Department, other factors could include increases in economic activity and population.
In an effort to decrease the number of pedestrian fatalities, the city’s Transportation Department is working to increase the number of pedestrian hybrid beacons. These are crossings that have traffic lights. They are also increasing the length of time that pedestrians have at specific crosswalks. Calls to law enforcement about people stuck on the median or in the middle of a highway will get a higher priority. The city is also considering moving transit stops closer to crosswalks if that would help.
If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in a pedestrian traffic crash, you do have options available for seeking compensation. An attorney can help you seek that compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, final expenses and more.