In 2011 alone, 35 percent of pedestrians killed had a BAC level above the legal limit for driving, which is .08 or higher. The largest age range of pedestrians killed is the 25-34 year old range, accounting for 50 percent of the alcohol related pedestrian fatalities. Overall, pedestrian deaths are up 3 percent from 2010.
In response to the increase in pedestrian deaths, the NHTSA has created the "Everyone Is A Pedestrian" campaign.
The following are safety tips for pedestrians from the NHTSA:
- Be predictable. Follow the rules of the road and obey signs and signals.
- Walk on sidewalks whenever they are available.
- If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible.
- Keep alert at all times; don't be distracted by electronic devices that take your eyes (and ears) off the road.
- Cross streets at crosswalks or intersections whenever possible. This is where drivers expect pedestrians. Look for cars in all directions - including those turning left or right.
- If a crosswalk or intersection is not available, locate a well-lit area where you have the best view of traffic. Wait for a gap in traffic that allows you enough time to cross safely, and continue to watch for traffic as you cross.
- Never assume a driver sees you. Make eye contact with drivers as they approach you to make sure you are seen.
- Be visible at all times. Wear bright clothing during the day, and wear reflective materials or use a flashlight at night.
- Watch for cars entering or exiting driveways, or backing up in parking lots.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs when walking; they impair your abilities and judgment too.
The following are safety tips for drivers from the NHTSA:
- Look out for pedestrians everywhere, at all times. Safety is a shared responsibility.
- Use extra caution when driving in hard- to-see conditions, such as nighttime or in bad weather.
- Slow down and be prepared to stop when turning or otherwise entering a crosswalk.
- Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and stop well back from the crosswalk to give other vehicles an opportunity to see the crossing pedestrians so they can stop too.
- Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. There may be people crossing that you can't see.
- Never drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
- Follow the speed limit, especially around people on the street.
- Follow slower speed limits in school zones and in neighborhoods where there are children present.
- Be extra cautious when backing up - pedestrians can move into your path.
Contact the St. Louis Personal Injury Attorneys of The Glassman Law Firm at 314-446-6000 if you or a loved one has been injured or killed as a result of a pedestrian accident.