Pedestrian accidents are not a rare occurrence in this country – quite the opposite in fact. Consider the following statistics before going out for your next walk.
Pedestrian accidents account for eleven percent of motor vehicle deaths in this country on an annual basis.
Nearly 200,000 pedestrians were killed in vehicle-walker collisions over the course of 3 decades.
After occupant deaths in vehicle crashes – pedestrians comprise the next largest segment of the fatality population.
Every eight minutes a pedestrian is injured and every one hundred eleven minutes a pedestrian is killed in a vehicle collision somewhere in this country. While there are more pedestrian accidents in urban areas – there are more pedestrian deaths in rural areas because vehicles are able to travel more freely at higher speeds.
Statistically, more pedestrian accidents and deaths occur during hours where there is no sunlight and in areas where there are no crosswalks. In addition, there are more pedestrian deaths on the weekend than during the week.
There are several simple things a walker can do to keep him or herself safe. First, if at all possible walk during daylight hours. In addition, walk against the traffic – not with it. This will allow you to see oncoming vehicles and maybe move out of their way. If you are walking in the dark then use reflective strips on your clothing and cary a flashlight and ALWAYS walk on the sidewalk if one is available or otherwise off the roadway.
Walking is a great form of exercise – but as with other types of workouts – there is a way to do it safely.
The circumstances surrounding two separate accidents in a neighboring state involving pedestrian fatalities could serve as a warning to walkers everywhere. In reports of one case a man was walking at night along a highway when he was struck by a car.
The impact sent him flying into other lanes of the highway where he was struck several times more. He died instantly. In another report, a woman was crossing a six lane city road – at night – when she, too, was struck by a car and killed. In both cases the drivers of the vehicles stopped…and in both cases no one was ticketed. It was – for all practical purposes – an accident.
There has been a spate of accidents in the news recently – both here and in other locations around the country – involving pedestrians being struck and killed by motor vehicles. If you are a regular walker then consider the following information.
Last year alone nearly 4100 pedestrians were struck and killed by a vehicle in 2017. While that figure is down by 20% from a decade ago – it averages out to be about ELEVEN walkers each day killed somewhere in this country.
Experts are unable to assess with any accuracy whether or not the act of walking itself is becoming more dangerous simply because no one has recorded the number of miles the American population walks or how many of them are actually walking.
If you are a pedestrian then the following advice – although given on other occasions – may help you reach your destination safely.
First, try to avoid walking late at night because it is harder for drivers to see you. Wear reflective clothing but do not expect this alone to keep you safe. Walk against the traffic and always use sidewalks if there are any available; if not then walk as far away from the actual roadway as possible.
Walking at dusk and dawn are equally dangerous so if you are a dedicated walker who engages in the activity for sport – try to walk during the daylight hours.