Pedestrian and Road Traffic accidents *
It’s fair to say that during these dark winter nights we tend to hear a lot more about pedestrian road traffic accidents. But are all the efforts to prevent car accidents having any effect?
This year has seen some decrease in car accident fatalities but the question remains as to whether the work of the Road safety Authority in preventing car accidents is having an effect on our behaviour? It’s hard to say but other countries have been collecting data on the issue of pedestrian/ road traffic accidents for many years in particular in the USA
In looking at this topic I recently came across some statistics on car accidents in America by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
It makes remarkable reading with an overall drop in pedestrian fatalities from 1990 to 2010’s
|1990||6,482||– – – –|
|1991||5,801||– – – –|
|1992||5,549||– – – –|
|1993||5,649||– – – –|
|1994||5,489||– – – –|
Surprised? So was I!!
What does it tell us?
Well maybe we are getting somewhere on the issue of road safety awareness at least in the US. It is probably fair to say that they have a more rigorous enforcement of traffic violations which has affected the motorist behaviour in a positive way!
In any event both motorist and pedestrians have a role to play in reducing road traffic accidents which continue to cause a significant number of fatal accidents and serious personal injuries.
Here are some tips that we should all keep in mind,
4 Things Motorists can you do to reduce the risk of a road traffic accident with pedestrian:
• The driver is not watching out for pedestrians
• The driver fails to slow down in built up areas
• The driver fails to slow down when the pedestrian is crossing a road
• The drive assumes the pedestrian can actually see them.
6 Ideas to help pedestrian play a part in reducing road traffic accidents:
- Be predictable. Running across or between traffic is not a good idea. Use paths where provided. Cross or enter streets where it is legal to do so.
- Where no paths are provided, it is usually safer to walk facing road traffic.
- Make it easy for drivers to see you dress in light colours and wear reflective material. It might be wise to carry a flashlight in very dark areas.
- Buy “workout” clothes that incorporate reflective materials and that are highly visible.
- Be wary. Most drivers are nice people, but don’t count on them paying attention. Watch out; make eye contact to be sure they see you!
- Remember alcohol and drugs can impair your ability to walk safely, just like they do a person’s ability to drive.
The information contained in this article has been produced by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration and by the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Centre within the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center