More and more people are dying in pedestrian accidents in this country – a tragic reality recognized by many traffic researchers, law enforcement agencies, and most personal injury lawyers who help victims of pedestrian accidents as well as those seeking justice for loved ones who have died in a pedestrian accident while walking on a local street, road, or sidewalk.
Federal Program to Help Cities Fight Pedestrian Death and Serious Injuries in Walking Accidents
Yesterday, the Department of Transportation announced a new federal program designed to fight against the growing number of people dying while they are walking (to school, crossing a street, to meet a friend for lunch, etc.). Pedestrian fatalities are a serious problem in this country today, particularly in cities and urban areas, as the number of pedestrians deaths each year continues to rise.
Explains David Strickland, head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA): “We continue to see high rates of pedestrian fatalities in major cities and across every demographic. To help stop the recent increase in deaths and injuries, we need everyone to play a role in pedestrian safety. Working with partners on the federal, state, local and individual level, we hope to turn this concerning trend around.”
Who Are Pedestrians?
According to the NHTSA, the following people are considered to be “pedestrians” for purposes of accident analysis: any person on foot, walking, running, jogging, hiking, in a wheelchair, sitting, or lying down.
Which means that your child walking to the bus stop; your teenager walking in the mall parking lot; your grandmother taking her evening stroll through the neighborhood; and your spouse walking to meet you for lunch are all “pedestrians” who are at risk of serious injury or death by simply walking along according to federal research studies.
Federal Grants and New Informative Site – Two Parts of New Federal Fight Against Pedestrian Deaths
One part of the new federal program is a new educational website filled with safety information to be used by everyone from a concerned parent to a member of a local city government in addressing the problem of keeping kids and adults safe while they are walking in their communities. That can be found at the new site, Everyone is a Pedestrian.
The federal government is also providing funding to improve pedestrian safety. States have been given a deadline of August 30, 2013, to apply for a federal grant giving funding to education and regulation needs of the states with the highest metropolitan pedestrian death rates. The total amount made available to all the states by the DOT is $2 million and it being awarded via NHTSA.
How Serious is The Danger of Dying While Walking On Public Street or Sidewalk?
More and more pedestrians are dying in traffic accidents in the United States. It’s a growing concern as this appears to be a continuing, rising trend.
In 2011, there was a 3% increase in the number of people killed in traffic accidents as pedestrians. According to the NHTSA, in 2013 it is predicted that:
- 1 pedestrian will be injured in this country every 8 minutes and
- 1 pedestrian involved in a traffic accident will die every 2 hours.
It is already known, based upon current research studies that:
Most of these people will die in pedestrian accidents in urban areas (73%);
Most will die in a nighttime accident (70%); and
Most will die in a pedestrian accident that is NOT at a street intersection (70%).
Safety Tips for Pedestrians Provided by NHTSA
Here are the following tips offered to those who are walking on the streets, to protect against becoming a part of these tragic statistics of pedestrian deaths due to accidents:
- Follow the rules of the road.
- Cross at crosswalks or intersections.
- Obey signs and signals.
- Walk facing traffic.
- Walk on the sidewalk.
- Walk as far from traffic as possible if there is no sidewalk.
- Pay attention to the traffic moving around you.
- Do not be distracted with texting or talking on a cell phone while walking near dangerous traffic.