As spring arrives, many people in Kentucky may be motivated to be out and about on foot more than they were during the winter months. Certainly, this can be a pleasant thing and even good for one’s health. The benefits of walking, jogging or running have been proven indeed. However, there are also risks associated with these activities and one of those risks comes in the form of motorists.
According to statistics released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of pedestrians killed in accidents involving motor vehicles has increased every year from 2013 to 2017. In 2013, there were 55 pedestrian deaths statewide. That number increased first to 57 in 2014 and then to 67 in 2015. As if that wasn’t bad enough, 2016 saw an even bigger jump to 81 pedestrian fatalities. Finally, in 2017, a total of 83 pedestrians lost their lives at the hands of drivers in automobile accidents.
The factors in each of those pedestrian deaths likely varied but may well have included distracted driving, drunk driving, speeding and more. Because drivers clearly do not always make responsible or safe choices, it is important for people to make safety a priority for themselves when they are on foot.
PedBikeInfo.com recommends that pedestrians ensure they can be seen by either wearing bright or reflective clothing or lights. If no sidewalk is available, pedestrians should walk opposing traffic so they can see oncoming vehicles. Making eye contact with a driver before crossing a street, even in a designated crosswalk, is the only real way to know for sure that the pedestrian has been seen.