With children returning to school, fall sports programs starting up and people enjoying the waning days of summer, foot traffic is on the increase. But in 2010, 4,280 pedestrians were killed and an estimated 70,000 were injured in traffic crashes in the United States. On average, a pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured every eight minutes in traffic crashes.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers these important safety reminders for drivers and pedestrians:
- Drivers are required to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians crossing streets in marked or unmarked crosswalks in most situations. They need to be especially careful at intersections where the failure to yield right-of-way often occurs when drivers are turning onto another street and a pedestrian is in their path.
- When possible, cross the street at a designated crosswalk. Always stop and look left, right, and left again before crossing. If a parked vehicle is blocking the view of the street, stop at the edge line of the vehicle and look around it before entering the street.
- Increase visibility at night by carrying a flashlight when walking and by wearing retro-reflective clothing that helps to highlight body movements.
- It is much safer to walk on a sidewalk, but if you must walk in the street, walk facing traffic.