Pedestrian Safety

It happens all to fast, one minute your walking across the cross walk and you look to your side and a vehicle is barreling toward you at an astounding rate. They do not stop even though you are in the cross walk so to avoid being injured you dodge the vehicle. This time you were luck and did not get hurt. This is not always the case though, all to often by the time someone realizes the other is there they are colliding.

Pedestrian safety is a pressing issue in the United States, especially in urban areas.According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were nearly 4,400 pedestrians killed in 2008 and another 69,000 were injured.  On average, there is one crash-related pedestrian death ever two hours and a pedestrian injury every eight minutes.

The CDC indicated that the oldest and youngest in our population are at greatest risk for pedestrian accidents and that alcohol often plays a major role:

Older adults

Pedestrians over the age of 65 accounted for 18 percent of all pedestrian deaths and an estimated 10 percent of all pedestrians injured in 2008.

Children

In 2008, one in every five children between the ages of 5 and 9 were killed in traffic crashes as a pedestrian.

Drivers and pedestrians who are alcohol-impaired

Alcohol-impairment – either for the driver or for the pedestrian – was reported in 48 percent of the traffic crashes that resulted in pedestrian death.

To limit your risk of injury when walking, be extra careful at intersections and be alert for drivers who fail to yield the right-of-way when they are turning.  In addition, carry a flashlight and wear reflective clothing when walking at night.  Also, use the sidewalk whenever possible, but if you have to walk on the street, walk facing traffic.

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