Walking is one of the most basic and healthy modes of transportation. However, today pedestrians in cities like San Diego face many dangers when attempting to predict and react to the actions of drivers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that during 2010 alone, more than 70,000 people were injured and 4,280 killed in pedestrian traffic accidents.
Individuals over the age of 65 and under the age of 10 are among the most likely to be injured or killed in pedestrian and car accidents. Additionally, alcohol frequently plays a major role in fatal pedestrian accidents. During 2010, of the 4,280 pedestrian traffic accident fatalities, 2,011 involved cases in which either the driver of a motor vehicle or a pedestrian was considered to be legally drunk.
In cases where a pedestrian is hit by a car, he or she is likely to suffer serious and debilitating injuries. Internal injuries, fractured limbs and severe head and traumatic brain injuries are commonly suffered by individuals injured in pedestrian accidents. Due to the significant and life-altering injuries associated with car and pedestrian accidents, those who choose to walk would be wise to take certain safety precautions.
For example, when possible, pedestrians are advised to always use crosswalks while crossing the street. In cases where a crosswalk isn’t present, individuals are advised to cross the street at intersections where drivers are more likely to slow or stop for traffic and therefore be more alert and watchful. Additionally, while sidewalks are the safest place for pedestrians to walk, those who must walk in the street should ensure they are facing traffic. Pedestrians who are out during diminished daylight hours should recognize they are likely not visible to drivers. It’s important, therefore, to wear reflective clothing and be vigilant and extra cautious.