Despite steps to improve protection, the number of pedestrian accidents continues to rise each year.
During October, Denver joins the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) to promote pedestrian safety. Billboards in Colorado are displaying a mangled tennis shoe with the words “Left Behind.” Traffic Safety Manager Sam Cole stresses:
“CDOT strives to keep all Coloradoans safe on our roadways, whether they are driving or walking. During the summer months more people are out walking, so it’s important we all use extra caution and do our part to ensure everyone gets home safely.”
Last year, there were 76 Colorado pedestrian accident fatalities, and almost 50 have died so far in 2020. Despite many campaigns warning of the risks of walking along roads, pedestrians still account for 13 percent of all Colorado roadway deaths.
The Governors Highway Safety Association reports that 6,590 pedestrians died nationwide in 2019, 5 percent more than in 2018. According to Executive Director Johnathan Adkin:
“In the past 10 years, the number of pedestrians fatalities on our nation’s roadways has increased by more than 50 percent. This alarming trend signifies that we need to consider all the factors involved in this rise, identify the high-risk areas, allocate resources where they’re needed most, and continue to work with local law enforcement partners to address the chronic driver violations that contribute to pedestrian crashes.”
Both drivers and pedestrians should be more careful.
Both drivers and pedestrians may be at fault when a pedestrian dies. Drivers increase risk by speeding.
Pedestrians increase their risk of being in an accident when they walk along dimly lit roads. From 2010 to 2017, annual pedestrian and cyclist deaths rose 46 percent during nighttime hours but 15 percent during daylight hours. Like drivers, pedestrians succumb to the distraction of cell phone use. According to the National Safety Council, citing a report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, distracted walking is among several factors that increase the risk of pedestrian deaths.
Evaluating infrastructure in high pedestrian areas to ensure it is safe; harnessing vehicle technology, including improved headlights; and lowering speed limits, coupled with speeding enforcement, are some of the solutions IIHS offers in its report. The Council backs these solutions and warns all pedestrians about the dangers of distracted walking, the need to use crosswalks and the importance of wearing bright and/or reflective clothing at night.
One of the best ways drivers and pedestrians can prevent car-to-human crashes at crosswalks is to make eye contact with the other party before moving. If the other guy is looking down at a phone, eye contact isn’t possible, and the person who is not paying attention is more likely to make a dangerous mistake.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, contact Dan Rosen at (303) 454-8000 or (800) ROSEN-911 to schedule your free initial consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer.