At some point in each day, we all walk somewhere outside — parking lots, sidewalks, or even busy streets. Would it scare you to know that on average 13 people per day are killed while walking in their local area? This is oftentimes because pedestrians aren’t always seen or given the right-of-way.
The CDC and NHTSA both report a steady annual increase in nationwide pedestrian fatalities. Interestingly, a 2019 report issued by Smart Growth America (SGA) reveals that the danger isn’t only the steady rise in pedestrian deaths, but in where the greatest percentages of pedestrian fatalities actually occur.
SGA details that the highest number of deaths occur in highly populated urban areas. The highest percentage of pedestrian deaths compared to an area’s population happen in smaller metro communities, making them the most dangerous places to walk in the United States.
The leading cause of pedestrian deaths is being struck by a car. What factors contribute to an increase in collisions between cars and pedestrians?
- Outdated Streets - Roads that have gone unimproved to balance pedestrian traffic against increased vehicle presence.
- Poorly Designed Communities - New communities that have not been adequately designed to accommodate pedestrian traffic alongside busy roadways. Additionally, rapid expansion of communities have placed more cars on roadways that are not designed to mutually support increased traffic and pedestrian safety.
- Prioritizing Cars Over People - In response to increased commuter traffic, moving cars have been prioritized over pedestrian safety.
- Obey traffic signs and signals
- Use sidewalks
- Walk facing traffic
- Be visible, wear bright reflective clothing
- Never assume a driver sees you
- Watch for cars at driveways, intersections, and crosswalks
- Hold your child’s hand while walking alongside a road or in parking lots
- Watch for pedestrians at all times, especially while backing up
- Slow down and be prepared to stop when entering a crosswalk or turning
- Never pass a vehicle that is stopped at an intersection or at a crosswalk
- Obey lower speed limits in areas of high pedestrian traffic (school zones and neighborhoods)
- Use extra caution when driving in hard-to-see conditions, such as nighttime or bad weather
- Don’t drive under the influence
If you or a loved one was hurt in a pedestrian accident, contact our team of attorneys at Scartelli Olszewski, P.C. today for a free consultation. We’re here to help.