But First: The Good News . . .
Good News: Nationally, U.S. pedestrian fatalities have decreased by 1.7 percent from 2012 to 2013. It is the first decrease since 2009. A pedestrian is a person on foot or on roller skates, skateboard, etc., other than a bicycle. A pedestrian can also be a person with a disability using a tricycle, quadricycle, or wheelchair.
But not all parts of the country fared so well. Pedestrian deaths increased in Jefferson County, according to WDRB of Louisville, KY. In 2014, 18 people were killed crossing the street — two by the same ready mix concrete company. Pedestrian injury collisions were the highest in over a decade, numbering 483 in all.
“I got out of the truck to tell him he ran over someone and he said he didn’t even know. If I hadn’t stopped him he would have kept going.”
It’s not always the fault of the driver. In some cases, the pedestrian is jaywalking, on the cell phone or listening to music, darting into the road or not visible. Busy multi-lane roads can be difficult for pedestrians to safely cross.
Wheelchairs are difficult to see, and in one case in Michigan, a 21-year old man was pushed by a truck several miles down the the Red Arrow Highway at speeds up to 50 MPH before the driver was alerted and stopped. The young man was unharmed but needed new wheelchair tires.
Most weekday pedestrian deaths occur between 4 PM and midnight, but most weekend pedestrian fatalities occur between 8 PM and 4 AM.
How can Pedestrian Collisions be Prevented?
• Run city routes at night, if possible in order to avoid the busiest parts of the day. Some waste and recycling companies have made this their safety policy.
• Vehicles should never back up at an intersection.
• Turn slowly when near pedestrians, at walking speed. Start and stay in a low gear.
• Do not accelerate during or in the turn. Wait until the turn is completed.
• Buses should make “square” left turns.
• Always be ready to stop when making the turn.
• Young children (age 10 or less) have no traffic sense and can dart in front of the vehicle unexpectedly, especially if on a skateboard or roller-skates. Be cautious of children in a hurry going to school or coming home.
• If the light is red, stop and stay well behind the crosswalk, to gain visual control of the intersection.
• Pedestrians have the right-of-way in marked or unmarked crosswalks. Be always ready to yield. Drivers must stop for pedestrians in crosswalks (but many DO NOT).
• Always stop for any pedestrian crossing at corners or other crosswalks, even if the crosswalk is in the middle of the block, at corners with or without traffic lights, whether or not the crosswalks are marked by painted lines.
• Do not pass a vehicle that has stopped at a crosswalk. A pedestrian you cannot see may be crossing the street. Stop — then proceed when any and all pedestrians have crossed the street.
If parked, always look under and around the vehicle before moving it.
• If your trucks deliver or pass through cities and metro areas, consider installing cross over mirrors on the vehicle, now required since 2012 on all State of New York trucks that deliver in New York City.
Thank you for reading this.
Disclaimer: Reference to any specific product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, company name or otherwise does not constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the author.