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Vision Zero: A hopeful plan for zero traffic deaths in Texas

Living close to Houston comes with all sorts of benefits, from great culture to delicious restaurants to shopping selections and more. Unfortunately, one of those benefits is not traffic safety. In fact, whether you're walking, biking or driving, Texas cities are some of the most dangerous places in the nation in which to do so.

Even adjusted for population size, Texas frequently beats out other states for total traffic deaths, and that isn't exactly a desirable first-place prize. Less than four years ago, the state's per capita traffic fatality rate was 24 percent higher than the national average! So, are lawmakers doing anything to address this terrifying issue, and -- perhaps more importantly -- is there anything you can do to help keep you and your family safe on the streets of Texas?

Scary Texas traffic statistics

Numbers don't lie, and the numbers show the streets of Texas are especially dangerous places to be. Statistics indicate that:

  • Texas is the 10th most dangerous state for pedestrians.
  • Houston, San Antonio and Dallas take up three slots in a list of the 20 most dangerous cities for pedestrians in the entire country.
  • The rate of traffic-related deaths in San Antonio is over three times that of New York City.

Thankfully, there's a movement that hopes to address the matter.

Vision Zero

Leaders within cities all over Texas are preparing a plan that works, step-by-step, toward reducing the number of traffic deaths every year until it reaches zero, aptly named "Vision Zero." Other Texas cities already have changes in the works, ranging from street redesign to lower default speed limits to even just raising public awareness.

Houston officials have held meetings regarding their own Vision Zero task force, as traffic deaths in the Houston area reached nearly 700 in 2014 alone. Vision Zero advocates hope to drastically lower these numbers, if not outright eliminate them. Suggested changes include officers patrolling on bicycles to enforce traffic rules, the re-introduction of red-light cameras, stiffer penalties for DUIs and speeding, lower speed limits, and more.

Resources

Hopefully, Vision Zero will go a long way toward decreasing traffic fatalities. Even one preventable death is too many, especially if it is that of someone you love. If you or a loved one has suffered serious injury due to a negligent driver on the streets of Houston, there are local legal resources familiar with the area who can offer focused, knowledgeable guidance and counsel on pursuing compensation for your injuries, medical expenses and more.

Of course, if you are one of the unfortunate individuals who has recently lost a family member to another driver's carelessness or error -- whether the incident involved a DUI, distracted driving or a thoughtless mistake -- nothing can bring back your loved one, but an attorney in The Woodlands area can help explain available options to help you fight for justice during this trying time.

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