Many people walk to and from places every day. No one expects to be involved in a traffic accident. However, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, every seven minutes a pedestrian is injured. Additionally, every two hours a pedestrian is killed.
In fact, NHTSA estimated that in 2012, nearly 76,000 pedestrians suffered injuries in a traffic crash, and over 4,740 were killed nationally. The national average of pedestrian fatalities is 14 percent of the total estimated traffic fatalities. Unfortunately, pedestrian fatalities in Connecticut were reportedly above the national average at 15 percent in 2012.
To avoid serious injuries or even death, our Connecticut residents may find the following safety tips on pedestrian safety helpful. When traveling on foot, it is important to walk on a designated sidewalk or path, if one is available. However, it there is no designated path, then a pedestrian should walk facing the direction of traffic flow but as far as possible from moving vehicles. Though many of us are familiar with distracted driving, it is very important for pedestrians to avoid distracted walking, such as constantly watching one’s phone. Walking while impaired must be avoided altogether. It is very important to stay alert and watch for traffic.
Caution should be exercised at all times and a pedestrian should never assume that a driver is attentive. One way of being cautious is to only cross streets and roads at the crosswalk. Most drivers expect to see people on foot at a pedestrian crosswalk and will be on the look-out. Thus, being predictable may be helpful. If one must walk at night time or in the early morning hours when it is still dark, it is important to wear reflective clothing or use a flash light.
Finally, it is very important to stay off freeways. Most freeways and highways are not places for pedestrians. By implementing these pedestrian safety tips, pedestrian fatalities and injuries may have a chance of going down.
Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “Pedestrian Traffic Safety Fact Sheet – August 2012 Data,” Accessed March 9, 2015