According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, the number of pedestrians killed in traffic has increased by 11% in the last year, equating to nearly 6,000 fatalities. Leaving 2016 the biggest single-year increase in pedestrian fatalities in history, and the highest number in more than two decades. Statistics like this are nothing short of horrifying. With our seemingly reliable increase in technology usage and remarkable medical advances, one would assume accidents like this would soon be obsolete, however, trends have proven the exact opposite.

Some speculate, lower gas prices, and higher volume of cars on the road are to blame; while others point to the very technology many of us are dependent upon. Simply imagine, 60 years ago, driving to work; you’re on a small highway, with little to no vehicles in site—fast forward to today, you’re in bumper to bumper traffic, trying to sip your hot coffee, checking your emails to make sure you’re not missing anything, all while trying to weave in and out of the cars around you. In which scenario are we more likely to miss the cyclist on our left?

Frankly, the attainability of driving distractions is at an all-time high, but there are ways to decrease your risk of hitting a pedestrian while driving, or even being the pedestrian that gets hit.

  • Always drive the speed limit
  • Avoid distractions like using your phone, doing your makeup or eating while driving
  • Do not listen to loud music when walking or driving in heavily populated areas
  • Always cross at intersections (and only when instructed to)
  • If walking or cycling at night always wear bright or reflective clothing and carry a flashlight or other light source.
  • Always walk on the sidewalk, however, if one is unavailable, walk facing traffic.
  • Always be alert

If you or a loved one has experienced a pedestrian trauma, call Potter Burnett today.