While walking is a great way to get some exercise and enjoy the beautiful California weather, pedestrians can encounter many risks during their travels. When walking in areas also containing motor vehicles serious injury can occur, with sometimes tragic results.
The National Highway Safety Administration offers insight into just how dangerous it can be for pedestrians when safety is not a top priority. When tracking pedestrian deaths via motor vehicle accidents in 2013, evening seemed to be the most hazardous time. Accidents taking place from 6 p.m. to 8:59 p.m. had greatest amount of deaths at 26 percent. Densely populated cities also saw a heightened risk of traffic-related pedestrian death at 73 percent, and a significant percentage of children (aged 14 years old and below) lost their lives as a result of pedestrian accidents.
Alcohol can also be a factor in pedestrian fatalities no matter who is inebriated. 15 percent of pedestrian deaths occurred in cases where drivers were shown to have a blood alcohol content greater than the legal limit and 49 percent of fatal pedestrian accidents involved either drivers or walkers who were legally drunk at the time.
So what can pedestrians do to stay safe on the road? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer a few useful tips to pedestrians to reduce the chance of a fatal accident occurring. Kids in particular should be monitored when walking in close proximity to moving vehicles, and mobile devices should not be used when crossing the street. During those times when walking in the street is necessary, pedestrians should always travel towards oncoming vehicles so they can remain aware of the flow of traffic. Also, reflective materials are essential when traveling by foot at night so that pedestrians will remain visible.