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Poverty, busy streets are factors in Houston pedestrian deaths

A recent article in a national public policy magazine presented data showing that pedestrian deaths are higher in poorer communities throughout the United States. A writer for the Houston Chronicle recently looked at the data for Houston, and concluded that a major factor in local pedestrian deaths is the routing of major arterial streets through low-income neighborhoods. Statistics show that in Houston, a disproportionate number of pedestrian deaths occur on major thoroughfares, which often have higher speed limits.

Low-income communities have less political clout to fight off major road developments. As a result, these projects tend to be routed through those neighborhoods more often. In addition, the people living in these neighborhoods are more likely to take the bus or walk to work, which means they are out on the streets and sidewalks more than people in higher income areas.

There are a few steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of pedestrian deaths. One is lower speed limits, although on some major roads this may not be practical. Improved lighting, better sidewalks and bus shelters could also help.

The loss of a loved one in a fatal accident is traumatic for any family. When a pedestrian is killed in an accident caused by a negligent driver, the next of kin has the right to compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. If negligence is proved, the family can recover damages for loss of financial support, loss of companionship, and the pain and suffering experienced by the victim before they died.

Source: Houston Chronicle, "Reality of pedestrian deaths and poverty connection is speed kills," Dug Begley, Aug. 8, 2014

Source: Houston Chronicle, "Reality of pedestrian deaths and poverty connection is speed kills," Dug Begley, Aug. 8, 2014

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