Over the past few years, a host of innovations in automotive safety and improvements to roads have resulted in an overall decline in driver and passenger fatalities. But, unfortunately, although automotive safety has improved, pedestrians have become increasingly vulnerable. In fact, a recently published report from the Governor’s Highway Safety Association estimates a 10% increase in the number of pedestrians killed in motor vehicle crashes between 2014 and 2015. Factors contributing to this alarming rise in fatalities include:
- Economic conditions
- Fuel prices
- The amount of time people spend walking
- Growing use of cell phones by drivers and pedestrians
Texas, along with California, Florida and New York, is responsible for 42% of all pedestrian fatalities in the first six months of 2015. These accidents are always tragic, but often avoidable. By keeping these few, common sense tips in mind, you can ensure your safety as a pedestrian:
- Always cross the road at designated crosswalks and intersections. The majority of pedestrian fatalities in 2014 (74%) occurred at non-intersection locations.
- Wear reflective clothing and/or carry a light with you when traveling by foot in the dark. Approximately half of pedestrian fatalities in 2014 occurred between 6pm and midnight, with 72% occurring after dark.
- Plan ahead before a night out. An estimated 34% of fatal pedestrian crashes in 2014 involved a pedestrian with a BAC of 0.08 g/dL or higher. Although it is crucial to avoid getting behind the wheel after drinking, consider catching a ride with a sober friend or hopping in a cab rather than walking home.