The numbers might be shocking, but they tell the story that we should all be more cautious when it comes to pedestrian safety. A pedestrian is killed in a traffic crash every 108 minutes and injured in a traffic crash every 8 minutes. Approximately 72 percent of pedestrian fatalities occurred in an urban setting versus a rural setting. Similarly 76 percent of pedestrian fatalities occurred at non-intersections versus at intersections. Did you know almost 90 percent of pedestrian fatalities occurred during normal weather conditions, compared to rain, snow and fog? Nearly 50 percent of all pedestrian fatalities occurred between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on weekends with alcohol involvement – either for the driver or for the pedestrian – with a staggering 44 percent of these motor vehicle crashes resulting in pedestrian fatalities.
With warmer weather upon us, children and adults spend more time playing and walking outdoors, putting them at greater risk for being hit by motor vehicles. Most children hit and killed by cars are playing in the street, and brain injury is the leading cause of death among children hit by cars.
Please review the following pedestrian safety tips:
- Always cross at the crosswalk or corner. When crossing at an intersection, look behind you for vehicles turning the corner. Drivers are required to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians crossing streets in marked or unmarked crosswalks in most situations; however, pedestrians need to be especially careful at intersections.
- Obey all traffic signs and signals.
- Teach your children to always stop at the curb or edge of the road; never run into the street.
- Look left-right-left before crossing. When possible, cross the street at a designated cross-walk. Always stop and look left-right-left again before crossing. If a parked vehicle is blocking the view of the street, stop at the edge line of the vehicle and look around it before entering the street.
- Learn the signs that a parked car is about to move; engine noise, backup lights and a driver behind the wheel.
- Always walk on the sidewalk, not the road. If sidewalks are not available, walk on the left side of the roadway or its shoulder facing traffic.
- Avoid walking at night. If you must walk at night, always wear bright or light-colored clothing and increase your visibility by carrying a flashlight.
- Always wear appropriate footwear (flat, rubber-soled, proper fitting, comfortable and preferably a shoe that ties).
- Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance when crossing!
- If you walk with a cane…apply reflective tape to make you more visible.
- Be aware of uneven terrain including loose gravel, high curbs, uneven sidewalks and hazards like ice or slippery pavement.
Data Source: Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis