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Published On: Tue, Sep 15th, 2015

Head’s Up: Ways to Take a Walk Without Taking Your Life

There are many hazards for pedestrians in urban areas, and even in the suburbs. Here are just a few of the many dangers they face, and some tips to keep you safe from injury, or even death.

The Statistics

In 2012 alone, roughly 4,700 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in the U.S. Another 76,000 were injured. This means that there was one crash-related death every 2 hours, and an injury every 7 minutes. Pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely than passengers in a vehicle to be killed in a car crash.

Who Is Most At Risk

According to Kendall Law Firm, older adults, children, and drivers and pedestrians who are impaired by alcohol are at serious risk of being involved in an accident and injured or killed during one.

People over age 65 account for 20 percent of all pedestrian deaths and an estimated 9 percent of pedestrians that were injured during 2012. Part of the reason for the high incidence may have to do with older individuals’ slower response times and reduced ability to judge distances. Older people may also be harder to see and they tend to be more frail in general – injured or killed more easily.

Preventing Injuries And Death

Children are another high-risk group. Children are difficult to see on the side of the road, and they tend not to have the wherewithal to avoid running into the road. More than one in every five children between 5 and 15 who were killed in traffic crashes in 2012 were pedestrians.

Obviously, people who have been drinking are at a high risk because they have impaired judgment and slowed response times. 34 percent of the pedestrians killed in 2012 have a BAC (blood alcohol level) greater or equal to .08 grams per deciliter of blood and 14 percent of the drivers had a BAC equal to or greater than .08. In many states, this is the legal limit of what constitutes an “impaired driver”

photo Orgullomoore

photo Orgullomoore

Don’t Walk At Dawn Or Dusk

Dusk and dawn are the times when it’s hardest to see. Pedestrians who walk during these times risk getting hit by vehicles because drivers are squinting as the sun is rising or setting. The extreme brightness of the sun, and from other drivers’ headlights, means that you are at an increased risk of being involved in an accident.

So, avoid walking, running, or biking during this time.

Wear Reflective Clothing At Night

When you do walk at night, wear reflective clothing. This will help vehicles pick you out among the many other distractions on the road. Make sure that the clothing has actual reflective tape, as some times of bright clothing are still difficult to see at night.

The reflective tape could be placed on a simple vest, or you could buy a vest made of reflective tape to wear at night so vehicles can see you. It’s not fashionable, but it will save your life.

Guest Author :

Albert Parker has spent his career working in health and safety and enjoys sharing his insights with an online audience. He has previously written for a number of health and lifestyle blogs.

Rough Road Sign public domain

Rough Road Sign public domain

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