Pedestrian safety is always a concern, especially for those who live in urban areas. A new study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has found that pedestrian fatalities have increased by 27 percent since 2009. In 2013 alone, 4,735 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents – that’s an average of one person every two hours.
What are the reasons of pedestrian fatalities?
There are many reasons why pedestrian fatalities have been on the rise in recent years. One factor is that more people are walking for exercise or to get around their neighborhoods (this is especially true in large cities where public transportation may not be readily available). Another reason is that distracted driving has become more common, as drivers are often texting or talking on the phone instead of paying attention to the road. Also, human error can contribute to a collision that can end up causing harm to someone.
And finally, alcohol plays a role in a significant number of pedestrian accidents – either the driver or the pedestrian may have had too much to drink before getting behind the wheel or stepping into traffic.
How can we ensure pedestrian safety?
So what can be done to improve pedestrian safety and reduce the number of fatal accidents? For starters, drivers need to be more aware of their surroundings and watch out for pedestrians, especially when turning or backing up.
They should also avoid distractions such as cell phones and give themselves plenty of time to react if they see someone walking nearby. Pedestrians also need to take responsibility for their own safety by staying alert and being visible when walking at night or in other low-light conditions. Wearing reflective clothing and carrying a flashlight are both good ways to do this.
Pedestrian safety tips :
As a pedestrian, you are vulnerable to injuries in the event of a collision with a vehicle. Follow these safety tips to reduce your risk:
- Look both ways before crossing the street.
Make sure to look left, right and then left again before stepping into the roadway.
- Obey all traffic signals and crosswalks. Do not jaywalk or cross outside of a designated crosswalk – it’s not only illegal, but also much more dangerous.
- Be visible at night. If you’re walking at night, wear reflective clothing or carry a flashlight so that drivers can see you.
- Pedestrians should always walk on the sidewalk whenever possible..If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic so you can see oncoming vehicles.
- At intersections without crosswalks or stoplights, yield to traffic before crossing the street. Make eye contact with drivers to make sure they see you.
- Don’t assume that a car will stop for you just because you have the right of way. Be cautious and look both ways before crossing even if you have a green light or walk signal. Cars may not see you if they’re making a turn or coming from another direction.
- Always be aware of your surroundings and try to avoid walking alone at night. If possible, walk with a friend or family member.
- Never assume that a driver sees you – always make eye contact with them before proceeding.