RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (KVEO) – As more people return to the streets to take a break from being inside, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) wants to remind everyone to be alert on the roads.
November 7, 2000, was the last time Texas had a fatal free day. Since then, there has been at least one a day. TxDOT is hoping to break that streak.
Three lives were lost, and nine serious injuries came from the 108 traffic crashes involving cyclists.
The numbers are more staggering when looking at those involving pedestrians. Seventeen deaths and 40 serious injuries from 206 incidents.
These were in 2019 and just in the Rio Grande Valley.
From 2018 to 2019, TxDOT says around Texas, the numbers climbed.
“Compared to the numbers from the previous year, we have seen a 5% increase in fatalities and 9% of serious injuries with incidents regarding to cyclists and pedestrians,” said Octavio Saenz, Public Information Officer with TxDOT.
Preventable behavior is the cause of many of the incidents we see on the roads.
“Inability to control speed, the driver inattention and in one out of every 4 incidents, alcohol has been a factor,” said Saenz.
TxDOT says it’s up to both parties to be responsible and vigilant.
“Just a failure to yield and that’s not coming from just the drivers but also from the pedestrians,” said Saenz.
If you’re on a bike, the traffic laws apply to you as well.
“Obey all traffic signs, stop lights, traffic lights, also go in the same direction as traffic. Remember that bicyclists can also receive fines if they violate any traffic laws,” said Saenz.
Something as simple as eye contact with the driver can prevent an accident.