AAA, BCSO warn of dangers of pedestrians crossing highways

SAN ANTONIO – As warmer weather approaches, travel increases on the highways, which could potentially lead to more interstate pedestrian traffic deaths.

AAA Texas and the Bexar County Sheriff's Office is teaming up to remind people that it's never safe to be on foot on a highway.

According to a recent report from AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, an average of 515 pedestrians were hit and killed by motor vehicles on the nation's interstates from 1993 to 2012.

During those years, more than 1,700 pedestrians were hit and killed on interstates in Texas, more than double the national average.

Bexar County Sheriff's Deputy Candice Rodriguez knows how dangerous the side of a highway can be. She was hit and severely injured by a drunken driver on Interstate 35 when she stopped to help a stranded motorist in December 2013.

"I broke my right leg and tore three out of four ligaments in my right knee and broke my back," she said. "It took me six months to get back to work on light duty."

She, along with Bexar County Sheriff Susan Pamerleau and AAA Texas officials, came together at Alamo Stadium to remind drivers to be wary of both intentional and unintentional pedestrians on highways.

A few weeks ago, Dominique Singleton, 30, was killed while attempting to cross I-10 near Guadalupe Street in Seguin. Traffic investigators say that stretch of highway has no lights, and includes an incline that can create a blind spot for drivers.

"It's not uncommon that the Bexar County Sheriff's Office deals with numerous incidents of pedestrians being hit and killed by drivers who never saw them," Pamerleau said.

"You should never walk or jog along the interstate highway or attempt to cross them on foot or use them as shortcuts. They are not designated to safely accommodate pedestrians," said AAA's Doug Shupe.

Most importantly, drivers should make sure their vehicles are road-worthy to avoid breakdowns in the first place and to keep vehicles maintained according to manufacturer recommendations.