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October is National Pedestrian Safety Month
By Erin G. Eggen
Frankfort, KY - In a crash involving a vehicle and a pedestrian, the pedestrian is far more likely to be killed or injured. For this reason, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet's (KYTC) Office of Highway Safety (KOHS) is partnering with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in October to promote National Pedestrian Safety Month.
"We are asking every driver to watch for pedestrians as you would if it was one of your friends or your family members, and asking every pedestrian to be as aware of their surroundings as possible," said Gov. Andy Beshear. "Common-sense habits, especially putting your phone down while driving or walking, can save dozens of Kentuckians' lives every year."
According to NHTSA, approximately 17 percent of people killed in roadway-related incidents are pedestrians, which equates to one every 84 minutes in the United States.
"Safe streets are a shared responsibility between motorists and pedestrians to help every user reach their destination safely," said KYTC Secretary Jim Gray. "By practicing safe behaviors while driving and walking, we can help prevent crashes, injuries and deaths on our roadways."
State Highway Engineer James Ballinger says a common problem for both pedestrians and motorists is distraction.
"It has unfortunately become all too common to see both drivers and pedestrians distracted by using a cell phone," said Ballinger. "No matter if you are walking or driving, putting away your phone is important for safety - both yours and those around you."
Staying alert is especially important as the end of Daylight Saving Time approaches and it gets dark earlier. According to NHTSA, most crash-related pedestrian fatalities occur at night.
"Adjusting to the new low-light environment can take time, and that puts everyone - especially pedestrians - at greater risk of death or injury," said Ballinger. "Wearing bright, reflective clothing will help keep pedestrians visible."
Last year in Kentucky there were 92 pedestrian deaths; 73 occurred after dark. So far this year, there have been 50 pedestrian deaths, 36 of which occurred after dark.
"There are many actions that both pedestrians and motorists can take in order to share the road safely," said Ballinger. "If all road users commit to working together, lives will be saved."
The KOHS and NHTSA recommend the following:
This story was posted on 2021-10-01 14:54:37
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