ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – This year has been claimed the deadliest year on Texas and Abilene roads. Pedestrians, drivers, motorcyclist and road construction crews are just a few of the many types of people and vehicles sharing roads with one thing in common: get home safely.
The U.S. Department of Transportation stated on it’s website that more than 79,000 people have died on Texas roads since November 7, 2000. It estimates that on average, ten people die each day due to traffic related incidents.
Locally, the Abilene Police Department have investigated 23 accidents that resulted in 28 deaths this year (as of December 10). Seven of those involved motorcycles and four involved pedestrians. According to Thomas Bryant, APD Traffic/SWAT Commander, each fatal accident had unique factors and no trend was found.
In response to traffic accidents, APD has increased patrol in high traffic areas and increased public service announcements on social media regarding driving safety. Take a look at what you can do to keep the communities safe below.
When riding a bicycle:
- Wear a helmet
- Use a bike lane if possible, or ride close to the curb
- Wear light/reflective clothes and avoid wearing dark colors
- Give cyclist room to ride from a safe distance
- Yield the right of way to cyclist when turning
- Pay attention to the road and obey speed limits
Top factors related to pedestrian crashes are drivers inattention, speeding and both drivers and pedestrians failing to yield.
As a pedestrian:
- Cross the street only at intersections and crosswalks
- Look left, right, then left again before crossing
- Do not assume drivers can see you, make eye contact
- Use a sidewalk if possible or walk on the left side of the road facing oncoming vehicles
- Do not use electronics that take your eyes or ears off the road
As a driver:
- Stop for pedestrians at crosswalks
- Yield to pedestrians when turning
- Be cautious when passing buses or other vehicles
- Pay attention to the road, do not text and drive
- Follow speed limit
Almost one in three motorcycle deaths occur at intersections. In 2021, 519 motorcyclist died and 2,318 were injured. Many drivers do not see motorcyclist, or misjudge distance and speed.
- Take extra care when turning left, it is safest to let the motorcycle pass before turning
- Pay attention, especially at intersections
- Give driving full attention
- Look twice when changing lanes
- Use blinkers, check blind spots and mirrors before turning
- Give motorcyclist space, maintain a safe following distance
- Obey speed limits and slow down based on road conditions
In 2021, more than 26,000 crashes occurred in more than 3,100 active work zones in Texas. There were 856 major injuries sustained and 244 deaths related to this, a 33% increase from 2019.
- Slow down, follow work zone speed limit
- Pay attention
- Do not tailgate
- Watch out for road crews
- Expect delays and allow for extra time