Pedestrian Fatalities on the Rise
When it comes to auto related fatalities, most people’s concerns tend to gravitate to traditional two vehicle auto collisions. However, a startling new study published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration finds that nearly 4,300 pedestrians are killed anually within the United States accounting for 13% of all auto related fatalities. Even more disconcerting is the fact that a largely disproportionate number of these fatalities occur within the state of California.
Pedestrians, defined as anyone traveling on foot, were killed at an average of every two hours. Factor in pedestrians suffering from non-fatal injuries and the number increases over 10 fold with one injured every eight minutes.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration cited that nearly 80% of the fatalities occurred at non-intersections with almost 68% occurring at night. Moreover, two out of three of the victims were male. On average, nearly 50% of the accidents occurred over the weekend with alcohol being a primary factor in over 47% of the collisions.
So What Precautions Can You Take?
- Always use an intersection to cross the street. You are 400% more likely to suffer from a fatal hit when crossing at any non-intersection.
- Stay in well-lit areas at all times.
- Wear bright clothing, especially when traveling at night.
- Avoid using cell phones and other electronic devices while walking. “Distracted walking” can be just as, if not more dangerous than distracted driving according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
- Take extra precautions when walking in urban areas; you are 73% more likely to suffer an accident in urban as opposed to rural areas.
- Most pedestrian fatalities (90 percent) occurred on a clear day rather than in bad weather, presumably for obvious reasons — not many joggers out during rainstorms. Be hyper-aware of your surroundings on such days.
- If on a street with no sidewalks, walk in the direction opposite traffic. You will be better able to see the cars as they come and avoid any foreseeable dangers.
- During the holiday season, be extra careful turning into driveways and take it slow in parking lots where more shoppers than usual, including small children, will be on foot.
- Don’t drink and walk; unless your other option was to drink and drive…then you should definitely opt to walk.
- If you are living in California, Florida, Texas, New York or Arizona (the states with the most pedestrian deaths per year in descending order) consider moving to Wyoming, Vermont, Alaska, North Dakota, Nebraska, Rhode Island or Montana; these 7 states maintain the fewest number of recorded pedestrian deaths annually, with no greater than 8 annual fatalities.
Published: September 24th, 2012