The Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) has been selected by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to conduct a one-year project on reducing the number of motor vehicle–related pedestrian fatalities in Texas. Project manager and TTI Associate Researcher, Joan Hudson has been awarded $47,500 for the one-year project titled, The Unintended Highway Pedestrian – What would you do?
This project aims to equip motorists, passengers and the general public with the tools needed to make the safest decisions when stuck, stranded or distraught on the highway either by chance or choice. Texas had 24,000 reported crashes involving pedestrians and motor vehicles between 2010 and 2014. In 2014, Texas was ranked the highest state for the number of interstate pedestrian fatalities, with the most reported cases in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Fort Worth and Austin.
Hudson and her team of communication specialists at TTI will develop an educational campaign filled with multiple media materials, including digital ads, print collateral, broadcasts and video. Once packaged, they will disperse campaign materials to TxDOT and other supporting agencies across the states, including the City of Austin Pedestrian Advisory Council and Austin’s Vision Zero Traffic Safety Task Force, asking them to incorporate the campaign into their media efforts.
“A time may come in some of our lives when we are on the side of a busy highway,” says Hudson. “My goal for this campaign is that it will equip motorists with the knowledge of what to do if they find themselves in that situation.”