Take Steps to Avoid Injury or Death While Walking
We rarely are more vulnerable than when walking in urban areas, crossing busy streets and negotiating traffic. We all are pedestrians from time to time, so it's important to pay attention to what is going on around us. In 2021, an estimated 8,984 pedestrians died in traffic and non-traffic incidents, with 7,388 of those killed in traffic crashes on public roads, according to Injury Facts.
According to Injury Facts, in 2021, more than 17% of all traffic deaths were pedestrians. Every age group is vulnerable, but the largest number of pedestrian deaths occur among 55- to 64-year-olds (1,343). While children under aged 5 to 9 experienced the fewest number of pedestrian deaths (50) in 2021, these deaths still represented nearly 14% of all traffic deaths for this age group.
Follow these tips to stay safe as a pedestrian:
● Whenever possible, walk on the sidewalk; if no sidewalk is available, walk facing traffic
● Follow the rules of the road, obeying all traffic signs and signals
● Cross streets at crosswalks
● If no crosswalk is available and your view is blocked, move to a place where you can see oncoming traffic
● Look left, right and left again before crossing the street, making eye contact with drivers of oncoming vehicles to make sure they see you
● Stay alert – avoid cell phone use and wearing earbuds
● Avoid alcohol and drug impairment when walking
● Wear bright and/or reflective clothing, and use a flashlight at night
● Watch for cars entering or exiting driveways or backing up in parking lots
● Children younger than 10 should cross the street with an adult
Distracted walking incidents are on the rise, and everyone with a cell phone is at risk. We are losing focus on our surroundings and putting our safety at risk. The solution: Stop using phones while walking, and not just in crosswalks and intersections. Over half of distracted walking injuries occur in our own homes, proving that we need to stay aware of our surroundings whether indoors and out.
When driving, help keep pedestrians of all ages safe:
● Obey all traffic laws, especially posted speed limits in school zones
● Watch for pedestrians at all times and be extra cautious when backing up
● Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, making eye contact to indicate that you see them
● Never pass vehicles stopped at crosswalks
● Stay alert – avoid distracted driving
● Do not drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs