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Pedestrian Safety

  • Annually in the U.S., more than 4,000 pedestrians are killed and thousands more are injured in traffic crashes.1
  • In Oklahoma for 2009, 605 pedestrians were involved in traffic crashes; of these, 133 were hospitalized and 35 died.
  • Persons under 18 years old made up the highest percentage of pedestrian incidents; however, older pedestrians were more likely to be hospitalized or die.
  • Older people may need more time to cross a street and may have reduced ability to react if a vehicle fails to yield.
  • Many of the pedestrians, or the drivers who hit them, were alcohol-impaired at the time of the incident.
  • Pedestrian incidents occurring between midnight and 3 a.m. resulted in the most deaths and hospitalizations. Incidents occurring during this time were also the most likely to be alcohol- or drug-related.
  • Typical hospital charges for alcohol-impaired pedestrians were nearly $10,000 more than hospitalized pedestrians who were not impaired.

Prevention

  • Pedestrians should stay on sidewalks and cross at a designated crosswalk whenever possible.
  • Never assume that a driver sees you; if possible, try to make eye contact with the driver before stepping into the roadway.
  • Keep looking and listening as you cross a roadway.
  • If you must walk on a roadway, walk facing oncoming traffic.
  • Children can’t judge speed or distance very well until at least age 10 and should only cross streets with the assistance of an adult.2
  • If walking at night, carry a flashlight and wear light colored or reflective clothing.
  • Avoid talking or texting on your cell phone and don’t wear headphones if walking near traffic.
  • Be very cautious walking near traffic if impaired by alcohol and/or drugs.

Internet Resources

  1. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  2. National Safe Kids Campaign
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  4. National Center of Safe Routes to School
  5. Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center

Injury Prevention Service, OSDH, 1000 NE 10th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73117
Revised September 2012

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