Taking Steps for Pedestrian Safety

Walking is good for your health and better for the environment. Cities around the world are striving to be more walkable communities Every day, nationwide, 430 pedestrians will be treated in an emergency room for injuries (that’s seven pedestrians every minute) and every 2 hours, a pedestrian will die from injuries sustained in a crash. With numbers this high, it is important to understand the risks involved and learn how to stay safe as a pedestrian.

Pedestrians — people who travel by foot, wheelchair, stroller, or similar means—need to be mindful of other vehicles – including bicycles – and obey the rules of the road.

To stay safe, keep these tips in mind when out exercising, running errands, or enjoying a neighborhood walk:

? Always walk on the sidewalk. If no sidewalk is available, walk facing traffic.
? Cross the street at designated crosswalks or intersections.
? Obey pedestrian traffic signals and Walk/Don’t Walk signs.
? Look left, look right, and then look left again before crossing a street and watch for turning vehicles.
? Do not assume that drivers will see you and stop for you – even if you have the right of way.
? Make eye contact and ensure that drivers see you if you are entering the roadway.
? Keep clear of buses, hedges, parked cars, and other obstacles before crossing the street.
? Avoid distractions like music, cell phones, or other electronic devices that take your attention off the road.
? Do not wear headphones and play loud music – you may not be able to hear car engines, backup alarms, or car horns.
? If walking at night, increase your visibility by wearing brightly colored clothing or reflective material or carrying a flashlight.
? Walk and cross in a well-lit area.
? Walk sober. Walking while impaired increases your risk of getting hit by a car.

Pedestrians of all ages are at risk for crash-related injuries, but some are at a higher risk than others.

? Male pedestrians are more likely to die or be injured than female pedestrians.
? Teen and young adults are more likely to be treated in emergency rooms for crash-related injuries.
? Children are at greater risk of injury or death from crashes due to their size, inability to judge distances and speed, and unfamiliarity with traffic rules. Parents should take extra measures to ensure their children’s safety when walking and reinforce these safety tips when their children are walking without them.
? A pedestrian’s risk of death due to a pedestrian traffic-related incident increases with age, with elderly adults at a higher risk.
? In 2013, 34% of all pedestrians killed in traffic crashes had a blood alcohol concentration of greater than or equal to 0.08.

We all must share the road and do our part to keep our roadways safe so that drivers, bikers, and pedestrians alike can enjoy our communities and #LoveYourDrive.