A successful pedestrian safety program requires constant effort and cooperation between all levels of government. Each year, approximately 70,000 people are injured and 4,650 are killed in pedestrian accidents. Children and senior citizens are involved in a disproportional number of these cases. Pedestrian accidents are more frequent in urban areas but are more likely to be fatal in rural areas.
“Walk the Walk” details the causes of pedestrian accidents and the strategies local and school officials can utilize to address these issues. Any governmental entity may download and use this video.
Intersection mishaps are the most common pedestrian accident. Senior citizens are especially vulnerable because they may not cross the street as quickly and often fail to notice vehicles in turning lanes. Children are more prone to midblock accidents, especially where parked cars are present. Alcohol is a frequent factor in accidents where the pedestrian was struck while walking along a roadway.
Increased speeds put pedestrians at higher risk. If a car traveling 20 mph hits a pedestrian, there is a 95% chance that the pedestrian will survive. However, the survival rate decreases to 45% at 30 mph and less than 10% at 40 mph. Reducing speeds, especially where pedestrians concentrate in residential and business districts must have a high priority in any pedestrian safety campaign.
To be successful, a safety program must include four basic elements, known as the four E’s: Evaluation, Engineering, Education and Enforcement.