A disturbing trend of rising deaths among pedestrians on our nation’s roadways was highlighted by a recent report from the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA), an organization that promotes the reduction of roadway deaths across the United States. According to the report, one pedestrian dies every two hours in the United States, and the amount of pedestrian traffic on our roadways is increasing.
The GHSA is a nonprofit organization that represents state and territorial highway safety offices in developing and implementing programs to address highway safety issues. In its report, the GHSA identifies several key factors that could dramatically cut the number of pedestrian deaths in traffic accidents.
One of the key factors involves reducing speed limits and establishing low-speed zones in areas that have a history of pedestrian accidents and in neighborhoods with schools, parks, daycares and senior citizen centers. The GHSA believes that establishing slow zones could drastically cut the number of pedestrian fatalities.
One of the report’s recommendations includes raising awareness of distracted walking, much like the move to educate people on the dangers of distracted driving. Pedestrians are also prone to distractions that come from cell phones and wearing headphones, for example. These distractions can contribute to the number of injuries and deaths.
If you are a frequent walker, walking to work, jogging for exercise or shopping in busy urban areas, always be cautious and stay alert. Staying alert today can mean staying alive for tomorrow.
Highlights of other suggestions from the report include:
- Educating motorists about what to do in the event of a vehicle breakdown on the roadside to reduce the risk of an accident.
- Using an approach to pedestrian safety that involves engineering, education and enforcement.
- Developing pedestrian safety action plans.
- Providing comprehensive training to law enforcement.
- Conducting neighborhood safety audits and pedestrian safety information forums.
- Providing incident management training for emergency responders and tow truck operators.
- Partnering with mayors and other elected officials to promote pedestrian safety.
- Integrating pedestrian safety into law enforcement’s daily duties.
- Identifying infrastructure improvements.
Drivers of motor vehicles are responsible for many of the accidents that harm and kill walkers every day. Careless drivers should be held accountable when they injure defenseless pedestrians.
If you have been hurt in a pedestrian accident – or a loved one has been hit and killed by a car while walking – you should seek help from an experienced personal injury lawyer in Indianapolis.
Your lawyer can work with investigators to survey the scene of the accident, interview witnesses and law enforcement personnel, review medical reports, data about the weather condition at the time of the accident and other factors to determine the true cause of the pedestrian accident.