05 Sep The Rise in Pedestrian Accidents
According to a May 2018 report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), pedestrian deaths have jumped 46% since 2009 with approximately 6000 fatalities in 2016. Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents have not only become more fatal but occur more frequently. The increase is mostly in urban/suburban areas on arterial roads. These are roads which are designed to deliver traffic to freeways. Accidents often occur when people are crossing or jaywalking across the middle of an arterial road (at a non-intersection).
In addition, the IIHS report notes pedestrian accidents are more likely to happen when it’s dark. Although cars are involved in the majority of pedestrian crashes, SUVs and high-horse powered vehicles caused the most fatalities. Older adults are at the greatest risk in pedestrian related deaths and injuries. In a 2015 report, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states people ages 65 and older accounted for 19% of all pedestrian deaths and an estimated 13% of all pedestrians injured in 2015.
Walking is a great way for older adults to get exercise and stay healthy. However, with the increase in cell phone use as well as an explosion in dashboard technology, drivers have a lot more distractions causing them to take their eyes of the road in front of them. Follow these tips to help make sure you are not the victim of a pedestrian accident.
- Cross the street at a designated cross walk or intersection.
- Look left, right and left again before crossing the street; looking left a second time is necessary because a car can cover a lot of distance in a short amount of time.
- Walk defensively. Make eye contact with a driver so you know he or she has seen you. Never rely on a car to stop.
- Be aware of drivers when you’re in a cross walk; vehicles have blind spots.
- Do not use a mobile phone or wear headphones when walking.
- Walk on a pedestrian path or sidewalk.
- If no sidewalk is available, walk on the shoulder of the road facing traffic.
- If your view is blocked when crossing anywhere on a road move to a place where you can see oncoming traffic.
- Walk in a group for greater visibility and safety.
- Avoid walking in the dark. If you do go out at night, increase your visibility by carrying a flashlight. Wear reflective clothing.
- Do not walk while intoxicated. While everyone knows the perils of drunk driving, pedestrians under the influence of drugs or alchol or more likely to be involved in a pedestrian crash.
If You Are Hit
- If you are able, immediately move out of the road.
- Call 911 and seek medical attention at a hospital emergency room. Even if you have no obvious injuries, you may have internal bleeding. You can also be a state of medical shock which can cover up pain and lead to other serious medical conditions.
- Document every detail you can remember about the accident.
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