Walking is a good form of exercise and transportation. This physical activity has a low risk of injury, making it an appealing choice if you cannot or do not like to engage in more vigorous movement.
However, where you walk makes a huge difference in how safe it is, and walking near traffic is a big danger. Pedestrian deaths have increased over the years, reports CNBC. What makes the rate rise despite the numerous safety measures in place in vehicles and on roads?
1. Gas prices
Gas prices are currently reasonable, encouraging motorists to drive more. With more vehicles on the road, the risk of hitting a pedestrian goes up as well.
2. Larger vehicles
More people are driving large vehicles such as SUVs and pickup trucks, which cause much greater harm to pedestrians than do smaller passenger cars. Often, the immediate impact or following injuries are fatal.
3. Cellphone distraction
Another common cause of all types of accidents, not just with pedestrians, is cellphones. These devices distract drivers from watching the road, so they end up not seeing people walking across the street. To be fair, pedestrians also pay attention to their phones instead of the road. If you are distracted when a vehicle hits you, it can be harder to make a case against the driver.
Other risk factors
While the above may explain the increase in pedestrian fatalities, they are not the only causes of accidents. Others include the following:
- Failure to yield to the right of way
- Disregard for road signs and traffic laws, including speed limits
- Lack of lighting
- High traffic
Most accidents occur at night and in areas that do not have an intersection, says the CDC. Therefore, it is wise to walk only when there is light or to wear reflective clothing and use a flashlight if you must walk in the dark. Likewise, crossing at intersections and making eye contact with drivers before stepping into the road can help reduce the chances of an accident.