HOUSTON - Houston police have noticed a disturbing trend.

The number of people getting hit by cars has spiked dramatically this year. That’s after a steady increase for the last several years.

According to the Houston Police Department, there were 45 pedestrian fatalities in Houston in 2013. In 2014, the number of fatalities rose to 50. Last year, there were 54 pedestrian fatalities in Houston. 71 people have been struck and killed in 2016 with two months left in the year

“Those are numbers I’m giving on fatalities. It doesn’t include the thousands and thousands of people that have been injured severely, they just didn’t die,” said Sgt. Derrick Hall, with HPD’s Vehicle Crimes Division. He added, “There are so many things I’ve seen. Kids, families, and lives that have been destroyed. I’ve spent countless hours on the phone talking with grieving family members for things that are totally avoidable.”

That’s why Houston Police are appealing to the public with some common sense tips.

  • Use crosswalks and wait for the light before crossing
  • Always look both ways before stepping into the street and if walking at night wear bright colors, use a flashlight, and cross the street in well-lit areas.
  • Remain alert- don’t talk on a cellphone, text, or use earphones when crossing.
  • Avoid alcohol and /or drugs as they can impair your ability to walk and make sound decisions when walking or crossing a street.
  • Walk on the sidewalk. If sidewalks are not available, walk on the shoulder and face oncoming traffic.
  • If involved in a crash, motorists should remain at the scene, especially if someone is injured. Leaving such the scene can result in a felony charge, whereas remaining may involve a motorist not being found at fault or receiving a citation.

Police say the number of deadly car crashes is up in 2016 as well.

As of Monday, 211 have died in vehicle accidents in Houston this year, which is a 21% increase compared to this time last year.