Any time pedestrians are on the road, they can be at risk of collision with a motor vehicle – even when walking in marked crosswalks. There are some precautions pedestrians can take to protect themselves, and to increase their visibility to motorists.
Pedestrian injuries in general are on the rise. Recently, The Wall Street Journal reported that after decades of decline, pedestrian-vehicle fatalities have increased. Studies show that pedestrians most at risk are:
- Older Adults – Those over 65 comprise almost 20% of pedestrian deaths and 11% of injuries.
- Children – Nearly one out of every five children aged five to nine who were killed in traffic crashes was a pedestrian.
- Alcohol Impaired – In accidents involving alcohol impairment for the driver or pedestrian, the pedestrian had an alcohol level above the legal driving limit 33 percent of the time.
What Can Pedestrians Do?
It may help to know that most pedestrian deaths occur in urban areas, at non-intersection locations, and in the evening. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) makes these recommendations for pedestrian safety:
- Cross where you’re supposed to, at marked crosswalks or intersections if there’s no crosswalk.
- Wear reflective clothing at night.
- If there is no sidewalk on the road, walk on the side of the road facing traffic.
In addition, the increased incidences of distracted driving should have everyone be on the lookout before crossing or entering a street. Make eye contact with the driver. Make sure they see you and that their eyes are not looking at a distraction inside or outside their car.