It’s not uncommon for people to walk on sidewalks and paths; however, most people don’t realize that pedestrians getting struck by a moving vehicle happen frequently. In the United States, there were approximately 5,977 pedestrian fatalities in traffic crashes in 2017. That is roughly one death every 88 minutes.
The statistics are shocking, yet many contributing factors add to these numbers:
When drivers don’t obey traffic laws and disregard safety, their negligence can result in several accidents and potentially severe injuries. Pedestrian accidents can arise due to aggressive driving behaviors such as:
Failing to yield to a pedestrian.
Disregarding stop signs.
Disobey traffic signs and signals.
Alcohol Impaired Drivers
Almost half (47%) of motor vehicle accidents resulting in a pedestrian fatality were due to an impaired driver or a pedestrian under the influence. Alcohol can impair a driver’s judgment and impact a pedestrian’s coordination, increasing the risk of a pedestrian accident.
Distractions are everywhere, and they play a pivotal role in increasing pedestrian-related accidents. A distracted driver can cause a fatal accident with other motor vehicles, as well as a pedestrian.
Pedestrians can also be at risk for vehicle-pedestrian accidents if they are texting while crossing the street; this is a dangerous behavior.
The most common distractions to look out for a while driving are:
Texting on electronic devices while driving.
Multitasking behind the wheel.
Take your eyes off the road by using the GPS.
Adjusting music or other controls while driving.
Drowsy driving was reportedly involved in 2.3 to 2.5 percent of all fatal crashes from 2011 to 2015. Fatigue can impact a driver's reaction time, and the ability to pay attention to potential hazards on the road.
If a pedestrian is walking in the evening hours with little to no visibility, it is challenging for drivers to see them. Driving at night already poses hazards because of limited visibility; the situation could worsen if a pedestrian has dark-colored clothing.
Pedestrian Safety Tips
To reduce your chances of getting struck by a vehicle, here are some tips:
Wear bright-colored or reflective clothing while walking.
Carry flashlights or bright lights to be visible.
Walk on sidewalks or paths instead of the road.
Avoid texting and walking.
Use crosswalks to cross the street, and proceed with caution.