Pedestrian deaths have increased by 60 percent over the last ten years. The GHSA (Governors Highway Safety Association) stated in a report from February 2023, “Drivers in the United States struck and killed 3,434 people in the first half of 2022.” The numbers rolling out of 2022 follow horrific numbers from 2021, a year that saw the highest number of pedestrian deaths in 40 years. Why are pedestrians dying and what can we do to prioritize pedestrian safety?
Reasons for Increased Pedestrian Fatalities
Pedestrian fatalities have increased across the country for two main reasons:
- Increase in dangerous driving
- Inadequate infrastructure
An increase in dangerous driving includes higher rates of speeding and distracted drivers, two key factors that contribute to the injury and fatality rates of pedestrians (as well as drivers and passengers of motor vehicles).
Cities across the country are dealing with inadequate infrastructure, due to various factors, including slashed budgets and diminished workforce. When there are fewer sidewalks, limited or zero crosswalks, and poor or even no lighting at intersections, pedestrian safety is compromised and accident numbers increase.
Practical Ways to Increase Pedestrian Safety
Drivers can make the roads safer for pedestrians by:
- Maintaining pedestrian awareness at all times
- Yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks
- Slowing down in school zones, when turning and crossing a crosswalk, and when driving through any parking lot
- Never passing a stopped school bus or other vehicle stopped at a crosswalk
- Double-checking for safety when backing up
Things pedestrians can do to protect themselves include:
- Always crossing the street at a crosswalk or at an intersection and obeying all traffic signals
- Never just stepping out into the street without looking in all directions for moving vehicles
- Watching for vehicles exiting or entering driveways
- Being vehicle-aware when walking through any parking lot
- If there is no crosswalk or intersection available, choosing a safe spot to cross where you can easily see all moving traffic
- If no sidewalk is available, keeping to the side and facing oncoming traffic
For law enforcement, here are a few tips from the NHTSA:
- Work with the community to identify problematic intersections and roadways with no crosswalks
- Institute a pedestrian-safety awareness effort
- Incorporate pedestrian safety into daily enforcement activities
- Distribute educational materials about pedestrian safety throughout the community
- Use RADAR to collect data on speeding and dangerous driving infractions to provide supportive evidence of the need for prioritizing pedestrian safety
Additional details can be found in the NHTSA’s 62-page Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Operations: A How-To Guide.
Kustom Products to Help With Your Pedestrian Safety Campaign
Managing high pedestrian areas to maintain the best possible safety levels can be extremely challenging. Look to Kustom Signals for the tools to help implement changes and increase pedestrian safety in your community.
ProLaser 4. For a high-performance handheld LIDAR, choose the ProLaser 4 with superior targeting range and acquisition, a rugged pistol grip designed for comfort, and a high-contrast OLED rear display plus HUD to improve overall visibility any time of day or night. The ProLaser 4 also features its unique Event Recall and Display Lock so you never lose a measurement from an inadvertent trigger pull.
RADAR Speed Displays. Police departments often receive calls about certain roads or areas where a lot of speeding occurs. While it may not be practical or possible to station officers in these areas, portable RADAR speed displays can be installed to serve as speed limit reminders for all who drive through the area. Kustom Signals is an industry leader in RADAR Speed Displays, including our Portable Pole Mounted displays that are ideal for work and school zones.
RADAR Speed Trailers. Smart speed trailers can be an essential tool for your pedestrian safety program. They’re the ideal tools to help increase road safety and speed awareness to decrease pedestrian fatalities. Easily deployed, our smart speed trailer can be used in any setting, whether urban, suburban, or rural. They can also be deployed to collect traffic statistics with the SMARTstat™ analysis software. The capture of traffic data allows departments to allocate police officers more effectively to patrol areas that are prone to speeding problems.
For more details regarding Kustom Signal products to help with your pedestrian safety initiative or other programs, contact us today.