Pedestrian crashes often result in severe injuries for someone who is traveling on foot while causing very little cosmetic damage or no noticeable damage at all to a vehicle. Many pedestrian collisions are the fault of the drivers of the vehicles involved in these crashes. Thankfully, it may still be possible for pedestrians to take certain steps to reduce their risk of a pedestrian-vehicle collision or at least minimize the severity of a collision should they ever experience one.
Statically, the chances of a pedestrian crash are higher now than they were just a few years ago. The three factors below have a very profound influence on the overall risk levels for a pedestrian crash and also how severe one will likely be, should one occur.
The time of day is a significant factor
Many of the worst pedestrian collisions occur after dark. There are two main reasons that the nighttime is more dangerous for pedestrians. The first is how motorists are less likely to actively watch for pedestrians during the darker parts of the day. Even in illuminated areas, motorists could easily overlook pedestrians after nightfall. The second is the elevated risk of a drunk driving collision after dark. Many pedestrian collisions involve intoxicated drivers, which may make nighttime jogs particularly dangerous.
Parking lots are a high-risk location
Parking lots are crucial infrastructure for businesses, but they are very dangerous for the people who must cross them. A significant portion of the reported pedestrian collisions, including pedestrian fatalities, each year take place in parking lots. Drivers should maintain lower speeds but may operate their vehicles far faster than they should. They are also more likely to let themselves get distracted in a parking lot despite the immediate proximity of both numerous other vehicles and pedestrians.
Traffic speed is another concern
Some people, like those who live in rural locations, have few options regarding where they walk, run or jog. However, it is often possible for those in many areas to plan routes where they can make use of sidewalks or special pedestrian paths instead of roads. If they must walk on near vehicles roads, then they may find that selecting roads with lower speed limits will reduce their risk of the worst possible crashes.
Tracking trends in pedestrian collisions may help people make smarter choices and reduce their chances of getting hit when traveling.