Pedestrian dangers in ETX: are they increasing? - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Pedestrian dangers in ETX: are they increasing?

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - This week, East Texas has had three cases of people being hit by cars, fueling speculation on "if" it is becoming more frequent. The question is, why?

There is no single reason why we've seen more pedestrian accidents in the past month in East Texas, but authorities think several factors may be causing the increase.

Kristie Brian with the Longview Police Department advised caution, saying, "It's getting darker this time of year; drivers don't always see you.  Drivers are looking at their cell phones and now with it getting darker earlier…they're paying more attention to red lights."

Adults and children both have been victims in day and night accidents.

"You should pay close attention to the drivers or the cars around you.  We're into the holiday season so obviously people are going to be even more distracted," says Brian.

 Edith Welch has been a defensive driving instructor for 25 years, and she believes distracted driving is easily the cause.

Edith says, "Distraction is the number one; over 6,000 wrecks a year are from distraction, not just the cell phone and texting."

One variable in recent East Texas pedestrian accidents is that the victim in several cases was hit from behind; they were walking with their backs to traffic.

They never even knew they were about to be hit.

"You want to walk against traffic, and that also gives the drivers of the vehicles a chance to see you, especially when they're wearing dark clothing.  We caution people that if they're going to be out on the roadways to wear bright clothing, reflective," says Edith.  "Watch for those you're going to be passing and the ones you see on the street walking as well as other cars.  You've got to make sure you watch for the bicycles and the people walking."

Drivers often pay more attention to other cars than pedestrians.

The best defense? Don't assume that motorists see you.

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