Every day you are a pedestrian at some point in the day. Whether walking to the car, school, work, parking lot, or grocery store, you will walk where vehicles travel.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) are recognizing October as National Pedestrian Safety Month; hopefully, reminding drivers and pedestrians that staying safe is a shared responsibility.
How Many Pedestrian-Related Crashes Happened in 2022 in Florida?
In 2022, there were 10,013 pedestrian-related crashes (5% decrease from 2021) in Florida, with 765 fatalities (8% decrease from 2021).
How Many Pedestrian Deaths Occurred in 2021?
In 2021, there were 7,388 pedestrians killed in traffic crashes. This is a 12.5% increase from 2020, which saw 6,565 pedestrians’ fatalities. This is the highest since 1981 when 7,837 pedestrians died in traffic crashes.
How Frequently Is a Pedestrian Injured in a Traffic Crash?
On average, a pedestrian was killed every 71 minutes and injured every 9 minutes in traffic crashes in 2021.
When Do the Majority of Hit-and-Run Fatalities Occur?
The overwhelming majority of hit-and-run fatalities occur at night or during low-light hours. The risks for pedestrians increase when Daylight Savings Time ends (it gets darker earlier).
We rarely are more vulnerable than when walking in urban areas, crossing busy streets, and negotiating traffic. Even rural areas can be dangerous to walk in, as many areas have no sidewalks, crosswalks, or safe spaces for walking. Since we all are pedestrians from time to time, it is important to pay attention to what is going on around us.
Pedestrian Walking Tips:
We have previously talked about some safety tips:
- Walk on sidewalks whenever they are available. If one isn’t available, walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible.
- Pay attention and keep alert at all times. Avoid wearing headphones or ear buds so that you can hear the traffic and pedestrians around you. Never text or look at your cell phone when crossing the street. That means: Head Up, Phone Down.
- Cross streets at crosswalks. If no crosswalk is available and your view is blocked, move to a place where you can see oncoming traffic. Drivers expect pedestrians at crosswalks. If neither are available, locate a well-lit area where you have the best view of traffic. Wait for a gap in traffic that allows enough time to cross safely and watch for traffic as you cross.
- Never enter the street from between parked cars. If crossing mid-block cannot be avoided, pedestrians must yield right of way to vehicles on the roadway.
- Do not cross an intersection diagonally except where and when crossing is authorized by official traffic control devices.
- Watch for cars entering or exiting driveways or backing up in parking lots.
- Look left, right, and left again before crossing the street, making eye contact with drivers of oncoming vehicles to make sure they see you.
- Be visible at all times. Wear bright clothing during the day and wear reflective materials or use a flashlight at night. Never assume a driver sees you. Make eye contact with drivers as they approach to make sure you are seen.
How Can a Pedestrian Avoid Getting Struck by a Car?
Distracted walking incidents are on the rise, and everyone with a cell phone is at risk. We are losing focus on our surroundings and putting our safety at risk. The solution: Stop using phones while walking, and not just in crosswalks and intersections. Over half of distracted walking injuries occur in our own homes, proving that we need to stay aware of our surroundings whether indoors or out.
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