Pedestrians are in a tricky position, because they have a right to be on the roads in certain circumstances and nearly always have a right to be near the roads regardless of the reason. On the same note, these people are often endangered by being too close to traffic, even when they may have a right to be where they are.
It is not unusual to hear about people dying in pedestrian accidents. After all, even those who are hit at slower speeds have no protection against the impact coming from such a large vehicle. In 2017, 5,977 people died in these accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Many of those deaths could have been avoided.
Pedestrian deaths happen around 16 times a day
The NHTSA reports that a pedestrian was killed around once every 88 minutes in 2017. That was a decrease of 1.7% from the previous year.
Pedestrians can be safe with the right walking safety tips
Although pedestrian safety is not just a pedestrian’s job, there are some steps pedestrians can take to be safer on or near the roads. Some include:
- Being as visible as possible with brightly colored clothing or reflectors
- Using crosswalks or highly visible, well-lit areas when crossing the road
- Walking toward traffic and as far from traffic as is allowed in the circumstances
- Walking on sidewalks
- Avoiding being distracted by cellphone calls, text messages and other distractions
- Following the rules of the road to be predictable to drivers
You’re not the only one who has to be cautious. Drivers also need to pay attention and follow the law to avoid collisions.
Drivers need to be aware of pedestrians on and near the roads
Drivers can also take steps to avoid collisions with pedestrians. They can:
- Slow down when approaching intersections or busy areas where people may be present
- Put down distracting electronics or devices
- Avoid eating or drinking behind the wheel, which can make drivers less responsive to stimuli outside the vehicle
- Watch for pedestrians at crosswalks, school zones and along busy roadways where cars may be parked
- Follow the rules of the road and avoid making errors that could cause a pedestrian-car crash
It is up to everyone to be more cautious to prevent these incidents. If you and your loved ones are more cautious, whether driving or walking, you will make a difference in the reduction of accidents.