Watch Out for Pedestrians

Accidents involving pedestrians is a problem all over the United States. While there don’t seem to be much in the news about these accidents, the statistics are astounding.

Loss of life in pedestrian accidents involving motor vehicles happen about twelve times per day every day of the year in this country. The NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts reports have some good news. The number of fatalities fell from 5,585 in 1995 to 4,280 in 2010. Yet there were an estimated 70,000 reported pedestrian injuries in that same year. That number is also on a decline by 14,000 from 1995.  Still these numbers don’t include accidents that aren’t reported by police.

The costs involved in these accidents are astounding. The total cost of pedestrian death and injury among children under the age of 14 is $5.2 billion annually. (Safe Kids Worldwide) Costs can include emergency room visits, hospital stays, fractures, internal injuries, and head trauma, as well as death.

According to a data survey of the 2000 Census, Birmingham is one of the most automobile dependent Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) in the country. Less than 1.3% of the MSA population currently walks or bikes to work, as opposed to other areas that are more pedestrian/cyclist friendly. The city is currently in the process of implementing new plans that will make walking and cycling a more viable method of transportation. As fuel costs rise and the population ages, the desires for people to have an alternative method to travel in a metropolitan area increase as well. There are proposals in the works for bicycle and pedestrianisation of the Birmingham area, so keep an eye out for cyclists and walkers. Help keep our MSA roadways safe for all methods of travel. To see the full article, click here.