CORPUS CHRISTI – Midmorning Monday, 39-year old truck driver Richard Branch witnessed a car accident as he was driving near Carbon Plant Road. Branch pulled over and got out to help the people in the wreck. That’s when an SUV hit and killed him.
The driver of the SUV who hit Branch was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol. However, the driver who caused the initial accident – the one Branch got out to help – was found to be intoxicated and was arrested for DWI.
Texas Pedestrian Accidents Are More Common that You Think
Unfortunately, cars aren’t the only ones at risk in a wreck. According to 2012 data by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 14 percent of all Texas traffic fatalities are pedestrians. Fourteen percent is pretty lousy, especially compared to other states like Montana (3.9 percent) and North Dakota (4.1%).
So why are pedestrian accidents so common? Part of the problem has to do with an issue of access. Though pedestrians always have the right of way, roads are “king” – roadways dominate Fort Worth’s transportation system , while sidewalks, crosswalks and bike paths are few and far between. This makes traveling by foot along a road much more dangerous.
Then, there’s a lack of exposure and education for drivers. We simply aren’t trained to look out for pedestrians and don’t often expect to find them on the side of the road. Instead of double checking for pedestrians, we focus on the road ahead; not a bad thing in itself, but problematic in areas with heavy foot traffic.
Of course, pedestrian accidents aren’t always the car’s fault. Jaywalkers, for instance, aren’t just breaking the law – they’re putting their lives at risk. Also, according to the CDC, 34 percent of all pedestrians killed in crashes were legally drunk; alcohol likely decreases people’s inhibitions when crossing busy roads.