Understanding Pedestrian Accidents in Urban Areas
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were over 6,516 fatalities due to pedestrian accidents in 2020 alone, and every 81 minutes, a pedestrian was killed in a traffic crash — both alarming statistics. This blog will look into the two top reasons why pedestrians are at the highest risk and provide statistics from the NHTSA.
Location of Pedestrian Accidents
When discussing pedestrian accidents, location is an important factor. According to the NHTSA, 3 out of 4 pedestrian deaths occur in urban areas. This could be due to higher population density and roads with greater traffic flow. In addition, pedestrians in urban areas may be more likely to take risks, such as jaywalking or crossing at improper locations. As such, drivers and pedestrians alike must be aware of their surroundings when driving or walking in an urban environment. While crosswalks are designed to keep pedestrians safe, this is a top location for many pedestrians to be involved in a crash with a motor vehicle. Intersections are also one of the most dangerous places for pedestrians as well.
Another factor that contributes to the number of pedestrian accidents is lighting conditions. The NHTSA states that about 70% of all fatal pedestrian crashes occur during dark conditions (nighttime). This could be because drivers have reduced visibility during night hours and may need help seeing pedestrians on the road. Fewer street lights mean reduced visibility in seeing oncoming traffic. When walking during dark hours, pedestrians should exercise extra caution to ensure they can see their surroundings before proceeding. Motorists should also drive slower and always assume they could be sharing the road with pedestrians.
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