Whether you are one of the many people in Texas who walks or runs for exercise, you will have plenty of opportunities to find yourself as a pedestrian in need of navigating streets and parking lots filled with cars, trucks, sport utility and other motor vehicles.

You might be in this situation when walking from your parked car in a parking lot to enter a store. You may be merely crossing a street to go to your office. Whatever the situation, you should know that pedestrians today seem to face far greater risks in Texas than they did just a decade ago.

The statistics show concern

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration records, pedestrian deaths accounted for 11.5% of all vehicular fatalities in Texas in 2009 and 11.2% in 2010. By 2016, pedestrian fatalities represented a whopping 17.8% of all traffic deaths statewide. That dropped slightly in the following year to 16.3% only to rise again in 2018 to 16.8%.

Bexar County, the home of San Antonio, is the worst in the state for pedestrian fatalities as deaths in 2018 accounted for 29% of all accident fatalities. These figures are down only slightly from 30.4% in 2017, 30% in 2016, and 31% in 2014. The county experienced a slight improvement in 2015 when foot traffic deaths represented 24.3% of all vehicular fatalities, a percent still significantly higher than the state’s overall.

It’s important to get your exercise and enjoy the Texas sunshine. At the same time, it’s critical to understand that motorists drive distracted at times and have blind spots. To remain safe, do your best to ensure that passerby can see you and take the right precautions where you walk, when you walk and what you wear.