Texas High School Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Education

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Project Overview:

Texas ranks among the top three states with the highest pedestrian fatality rates, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2019. In 2021, there were 404 pedestrian crashes involving teenagers aged 14 to 18 in Texas, resulting in 30 teen pedestrian fatalities. 60% of these teen pedestrian crashes occurred during daylight hours, primarily around the times before and after school, from 4 to 6 p.m. Reports also reveal a critical factor contributing to these incidents: many pedestrians, especially teenagers, fail to yield the right of way. This means that teens are often crossing streets mid-block or without obeying traffic signs and signals, accounting for most of these accidents (TXDOT CRIS, 2021). Additionally, data shows that 74% of teen bicyclist crashes also took place during daylight hours in 2021. In 84% of these bicycle-related incidents, the teen bicyclists were not wearing helmets (TXDOT CRIS, 2021). More work needs to be done to educate our young pedestrians and bicyclists to encourage them to follow signs, signals, designated crossing locations, and the rules of the road. 

Key Takeaways:

  1. The top 5 counties for teen pedestrian crashes in Texas are Harris, Dallas, Bexar, Tarrant, and El Paso.
  2. There are still many unserved high schools in Texas in areas of need, and crash data with historical program impact data can help identify future service areas. 
  3. Existing barriers to entry on high school campuses include lack of a teacher champion, teacher turnover, administrative approvals, and resource cost restrictions. 

Our Approach:

For this project, the Texas A&M Transportation Institute’s (TTI) took a comprehensive approach by weaving in a pedestrian and bicycle safety initiative within the long-standing Teens in the Driver Seat® (TDS) program. This initiative aimed to provide educational resources and hands-on kits to students, enabling them to conduct on-campus outreach activities. 

In addition, this project set out to develop new resources and identify unserved areas of need based on crash data and the historical impact of Teen in the Driver Seat. 

Another approach to better serve communities and their stakeholders was maintaining a data dashboard using TxDOT’s Crash Records Information System (CRIS) for school need identification, crash trends, and information sharing at local presentations to youth and adults. 


For the 2022-2023 school year, Teens in the Driver Seat® distributed 149 pedestrian and bicycle safety toolkits to various high schools across the state. In addition to the hands-on kit, staff supported teen groups in participating in other youth-led activities. These activities included the Zero Hero distracted walking observations, a pedestrian obstacle course, a pedestrian relay race and online learning games like Kahoot trivia.  

Among some offerings provided to teen groups was a pedestrian and bicycle safety education presentation. This presentation yielded positive results, enhancing both the knowledge and confidence of the participants to address safety issues within their schools. 

The teen pedestrian and bicycle crash dashboard in Power BI received positive feedback from both the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and our presentation attendees. It was appreciated for its user-friendly visual format, which allowed for easy interpretation and manipulation of crash data. The results from the dashboard helped researchers identify youth crash trends and enabled them to address specific safety issues in cities, counties and TxDOT districts. This dashboard also served as a tool for geo-coding school districts and high schools with pedestrian and bicyclist crash data within one mile of the school. This data was then used to identify school districts and schools in need of the Teens in the Driver Seat® program.  

For more information on this project, please contact:

Gabriella Kolodzy, MPA, CDDP
TTI Associate Transportation Researcher
Youth Transportation Safety Program
(512) 407-1139
[email protected]

Project Title: Statewide Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Education for High School
Project Start and End Dates: October 1, 2022 – September 30, 2023
Author List: Youth Transportation Safety Program
Sponsor/Funding Source: Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT)