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How pedestrians and drivers can avoid accidents

Texas continues to rank among the national leaders in pedestrian deaths.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 5,977 pedestrians in were killed nationally in traffic accidents in 2017. In Texas, 607 pedestrians died in 2017, or 16.3 percent of all traffic fatalities in the state that year. Only California and Florida had more.

Texas also ranked among the national leaders when looking at the number of pedestrian deaths per 100,000 population. The national average was 1.84 deaths per 100,000. Texas' 2.14 deaths per 100,000 came in at 10th in the nation.

Types of pedestrian injuries

Pedestrians in accidents are likely to suffer injuries that include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries and concussions
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Fractures
  • Soft tissue injuries including bruises, lacerations and sprains
  • Broken bones
  • Emotional trauma

Experts say injuries such as a concussion can produce symptoms as much as days later. Symptoms can include loss of memory, loss of consciousness, headache, vomiting, sensitivity to light, confusion or memory loss and clumsy movement.

A spinal cord injury could lead to paraplegia or quadriplegia. The Mayo Clinic says symptoms of spinal cord injury during an accident can include extreme back pain; pressure in the head, neck or back; weakness or paralysis in any part of the body; numbness or tingling; loss of bladder or bowel control; loss of balance; impaired breathing; an oddly twisted neck or back.

Tips for pedestrians

There is no cure for traumatic brain injury, and spinal cord injuries can be devastating.

Sometimes prevention is the best cure, and experts suggest pedestrians take these precautions:

  • Walk on a sidewalk when one is available, or walk on the shoulder facing oncoming traffic
  • Don't be distracted by electronic devices that take your eyes and ears off the road
  • Cross streets at crosswalks and intersections
  • Wear bright colors during the day and reflective clothing at night
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs that impair your judgement and coordination

If you or someone you love has been involved in a pedestrian accident, seek out medical attention. Then you should seek out advice from a qualified, experienced attorney who can help you recoup some of the loss of wages or increased medical bills from the accident.

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