The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported an increase in pedestrian fatalities in the U.S. in 2016, reaching a total of 5,987 deaths. Stay in shape this summer while keeping yourself safe with these tips when sharing the road with vehicles.
Safety Precautions for Runners and Pedestrians
- Make Yourself Visible – Increase your visibility to passing vehicles by wearing light-colored clothing and reflective material. Always carry a flashlight or wear a clip-on LED light if you choose to walk or run at night.
- Face the Traffic – Be sure to walk or run while facing oncoming traffic, and stay towards the edge of the road if there is no sidewalk.
- Look both Ways – It is a simple rule that can often be forgotten when you’re preoccupied with your workout — look both left and right twice before crossing the road to ensure there are no approaching vehicles.
- Cross Streets at a Corner – Pedestrian injuries are more likely to occur mid-street. It is best to cross at a corner or a pedestrian crosswalk whenever possible, as drivers are likely to be more aware of their surroundings in these areas.
- Avoid Distractions – While many people prefer to walk or run while using headphones or earbuds to listen to music, these devices cause you to be less aware of your surroundings and miss auditory signals that alert you of dangers.
- Beware of Parked Vehicles – Be alert if you are passing near or through parking lots. These areas can be dangerous for pedestrians because there are blind spots for drivers backing out of parking spaces. Use caution whenever you are around parked vehicles in neighborhoods, as well.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
In 2014, there were 4,884 pedestrians killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in the United States. An additional estimated 65,000 pedestrians were injured in traffic crashes. The following pedestrian accident statistics for 2014 are provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
- On average, a pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured every eight minutes in traffic crashes.
- Alcohol impairment was reported in 48 percent of all fatal pedestrian crashes.
- Eighteen percent of pedestrian fatalities involved a hit-and-run driver.
- Pedestrians were killed more often in the dark (72 percent) than in daylight (24 percent).
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