It may just be impossible to list all the contexts in which a pedestrian can be struck by a car or other kind of motor vehicle. If cars and pedestrians are traveling on the same roadway, there is always a chance for a tragic accident. Crosswalks, parking lots, residential roads, urban streets are all common settings for an auto accident involving a pedestrian — and believe us, these accidents happen often.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated about 70,000 pedestrian injuries in 2010, and over 4,000 fatalities. That’s roughly twelve pedestrian deaths every day. Such staggering numbers demand increased awareness for drivers and walkers alike. Recognizing trends in pedestrian accidents — and spreading the word on these trends — could help to save some, if not many lives:
Beware Urban Areas: The bulk (72 percent) of pedestrian fatalities in 2010 occurred in urban areas of high traffic flow. It is important to exercise more caution in densely populated areas which see a steady stream of cars.
Be Careful at Night: Most pedestrian accidents occur at night, between the hours of 4 p.m. and 4 a.m. This is due to many factors, such as diminished visibility of pedestrians walking on dark streets and a higher number of alcohol-impaired drivers.
Remember That Our Seniors and Children Are Most At-Risk: A 2009 NHTSA report said that men and women over the age of 65 represented 19 percent of all pedestrian deaths. And the same report said that one-fifth of children between the ages of 5 and 9 who were killed in traffic accidents were pedestrians.
To help reduce the number of pedestrian accidents, walkers should wear reflective clothing when walking at night, use sidewalks whenever possible, and exercise caution at intersections. Of course, drivers must also be responsible. This means not exceeding the speed limit, not drinking and driving, and remaining alert while driving at night.