The Danger of Walking
“More than 76,000 Americans have been killed walking or crossing the street in the past 15 years, and pedestrian deaths account for about 11.8% of all traffic fatalities;” that published in a joint report by groups Transportation for America and the Surface Transportation Policy Partnership entitled ‘Dangerous by Design: Solving the Epidemic of Preventable Pedestrian Deaths (and Making Great Neighborhoods). And according the recent USA Today article ‘Communities try to prevent pedestrian traffic deaths,’ (USA Today, November 10, 2009, 5A) those groups are lobbying Congress in an effort to require states to spend their share of federal funds on road projects to address the needs of pedestrians. This comprehensive report includes the most dangerous cities for pedestrians and provides safety rankings for each of the 50 states.
However, regardless of Congressional action or future state cooperation in making pedestrian safety a priority, the fact that pedestrians account for approximately 1 in 10 traffic deaths nationwide is staggering.
Every time a pedestrian takes to the street, whether it be walking, jogging or biking, you should recall this statistic and:
- Be defensive;
- Assume that drivers do not see you;
- Assume drivers do not understand pedestrian traffic laws;
- Assume drivers are preoccupied with whatever drama unfolded in their lives that day;
- Assume drivers are late to wherever they are headed;
- Assume drivers are distracted, using a cell phone, reading a newspaper or magazine as they drive;
- Assume drivers are driving a vehicle with defective brakes;
- Assume there will be drivers who have been drinking,
For Floridians, pay particular attention in these “top rated” cities:
2) Tampa-St. Petersburg.
3) Miami-Ft. Lauderdale.
Being outside nearly year round is a perk enjoyed by few, Floridians luckily included. When doing so on bike paths and sidewalks near roads, always be on guard.
Many of you reading this blog may have never heard the song ‘Walking in Memphis,’by singer-songwriter Marc Cohn. This was an early ‘90’s homage to the land of the Delta Blues, influential Beale Street, Elvis, and countless other subtle rock music references by singer-songwriter Marc Cohn. This was an early ‘90’s homage to the land of the Delta Blues, influential Beale Street, Elvis, and countless other subtle rock music references. Evidently additional lyrics are suitable, something to the effect of: “well I was walking in Memphis, but I was hit by a car and was killed.”
Gruesome, but realistic, since Memphis is tabbed as the 5th most dangerous city for pedestrians by the aforementioned report.