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Pedestrian Safety: A Collective Responsibility

Posted on behalf of Greg Coleman Law on Jun 19, 2014 in Auto Accident

Pedestrian Safety

The largest city in Tennessee is ranked among the most dangerous metropolitan areas for pedestrians. Memphis, Tennessee, ranks as the 5th most dangerous metro area for pedestrians in the United States. In 2007-2008, the latest year for which data is available, 47 pedestrians died in accidents. Across the state of Tennessee during the same time period, over 100 pedestrians were killed.  

While fatalities from car accidents have been decreasing in recent years, the same cannot be said for pedestrian car accident victims.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that pedestrians experienced an increase in motor vehicle accidents in 2012 across the nation.

In the United States, reports the NHTSA, a pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured every seven minutes in traffic crashes. This statistic is worrisome and frightening. The NHTSAs Traffic Safety Facts PDF reveals that 4,743 pedestrians died in car accidents in 2012. That number is a six percent increase from the number of pedestrians who died in 2011.

Additionally, another 76,000 pedestrians were injured in car crashes. In response to such concerning levels of injuries and fatalities, the NHTSA has issued Pedestrian Safety Grants to Louisville, New York City and Philadelphia to educate pedestrians and motorists and to reduce incidents of pedestrian fatalities.

 The U.S. Department of Transportation has compiled a list of pedestrian safety measures that are effective. The department lists counter measures such as:

  • Roundabouts
  • Tightly managed corridors
  • Backplates with reflective borders
  • Highway rumble strips
  • Medians and pedestrian crossing islands

The degree of alcohol involvement in pedestrian crashes was also significant. In 48 percent of pedestrian crashes, either the pedestrian or the driver was intoxicated. Interestingly enough, if not surprising, most of the accidents occurred between 8 p.m. and 11:59 p.m.

There are wonderful resources at the pedestrian safety awareness website of the NHTSA detailing safe walking tips, background information and programs and activities that parents, schools and communities can use to make their roads and streets safer for pedestrians. 

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