Improving pedestrian safety

Pedestrians have more exposure and less protection than people traveling in vehicles. This means their risks of suffering a severe or fatal injury rises exponentially if they get hit by a car. 

Even with laws designed to protect pedestrians, education plays a big role in keeping people safe as well. People who practice vigilance and stay aware of their surroundings can reduce their risk of injury and protect themselves from distracted drivers. 

A real danger

Pedestrian accidents happen every day. In fact, according to Virginia Mercury, there were 6,283 pedestrian fatalities in the year 2018. Statistics show a 53% increase in accidents involving pedestrians in the last 10 years. Other studies show that 94% of all traffic accidents happen because of human errors. The effects of pedestrian accidents are far-reaching and can have detrimental consequences for both victims and the drivers that hit them. 

Cities that lack adequate resources to design pedestrian-friendly spaces may see an increase in fatal accidents. Well-lit streets, sidewalks, visible signage and periodic safety campaigns can help cities improve their premises and protect pedestrians. 

A personal responsibility

Listening to music, podcasts or other forms of entertainment is popular amongst pedestrians. However, these behaviors can cause distraction and prevent people from recognizing danger before it is too late. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, pedestrians should wear visible clothing and stay alert. 

When crossing a street, people should look in all directions and make sure that every car has stopped completely before proceeding to cross. They should obey traffic laws. If there is no sidewalk, people should walk as far away from traffic as possible and in the same direction as the traffic flow nearest to them. 

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