By the end of 2016, the analysis of accident data from 2015 revealed a scary statistic. Pedestrian deaths had increased by almost ten percent from 2014 to 2015 across the country. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that 2015 saw the greatest number of pedestrians killed since 1996, with 5,376 deaths nationwide. So, while travel appears to be getting safer for most road users, pedestrians were one of the few categories to see an increase in fatalities.
In 2015, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation, there were 1,399 pedestrian crashes in the state, resulting in 161 pedestrian deaths and 1,169 injuries.
There are many contributing factors to pedestrian accidents. The NHSTA reports that nighttime and alcohol consumption are some of the most common factors present during a pedestrian accident. Alcohol consumption by the driver or pedestrian was present in almost half of the fatal pedestrian crashes in 2015. In Arizona, 38% of pedestrians killed in 2015, had been drinking while 10% appeared to be under the influence of drugs.
School is back in session and as children make up a large percentage of pedestrian accident victims, it is important for parents and caregivers to review safety tips with children frequently. Those under the age of 19 accounted for 27% of those pedestrians injured in Arizona in 2015.
It is important for both pedestrians and drivers to use caution when sharing the road as most of these tragic accidents can be avoided with preparation and care. Consider the following safety tips, regardless of whether you plan to be a driver or pedestrian in Arizona:
SAFETY TIPS FOR DRIVERS
• Drive with caution in pedestrian-heavy areas
• Use slower than normal speed near schools or children-friendly areas like parks
• Visiting Drivers: beware! Unlike most of the country, Phoenix experiences a pleasant climate
year-round meaning pedestrians are always out and about
• Use your horn if you’re worried a pedestrian doesn’t see you
• Do not text-and-drive
• Do not engage in distracted driving behaviors
• Never drink and drive
SAFETY TIPS FOR PEDESTRIANS
• Avoid walking at night – Over 1/3 of pedestrian accidents occur at night!
• Wear reflective or bright clothing if walking at night
• Always adhere to traffic lights and walk signals
• Always use crosswalks
• Stick to sidewalks
• If no sidewalk is available, keep a safe distance from the road and walk against traffic so drivers can see you
• Try to make eye contact with a driver before crossing the street
• Avoid using headphones or talking on a cell phone
It is important to seek out an experienced personal injury attorney who is familiar with victims’ rights if you or someone you love has been injured in an accident. At Abels & Annes, P.C., we only represent victims. Call us today at 602-819-5191 or contact us online for a free consultation to better understand your rights following an accident.
Prior Blog Entry:
Spring Break Can Mean Dangerous Roadways in Phoenix, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, published April 7, 2017.