Nearly 6,000 pedestrians and cyclists are killed nationwide every year, and an additional 85,000 to 90,000 suffer from injuries inflicted on them by a moving vehicle, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Nearly one-half (48 percent) of all pedestrian fatalities occur on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays (16 percent, 17 percent and 15 percent respectively). Alcohol involvement that resulted in pedestrian fatalities was reported in 48 percent of the traffic crashes. On average, a pedestrian is killed every two hours and injured every nine minutes in traffic crashes. Almost 50 percent of all pedestrian fatalities occur between 6 p.m. and midnight.
At 9:28 p.m., on Oct. 9 in the city of San Bernardino, California Highway Patrol officers responded to an incident involving two pedestrians that were struck by a vehicle. Paramedics pronounced one pedestrian dead at the scene. The second pedestrian was transported to an area hospital for treatment.
The last pedestrian fatality on Fort Irwin occurred on May 12, 2010 at 6:12 a.m. The pedestrian was not using a crosswalk and the driver’s view was obstructed.
Preventing pedestrian fatalities
- Dress to be seen. Brightly colored clothing may make you a little more visible to drivers during daylight hours, but during nighttime hours bright and even white clothing does little to enhance your visibility to motorists.
- Wear reflective vests or belts. Reflective clothing allows you to be seen during hours of limited visibility. If out walking when it is dark, wear reflective clothing and carry a flashlight.
- Run against traffic. You have a better chance of seeing cars and drivers have a better chance of seeing you. Ideally, try and run on a designated trail to avoid mixing with traffic.
- Don’t take traffic lights or pedestrian walk signals for granted. Always check for oncoming traffic before stepping into the crosswalk.
- Don’t wear headphones. Headphones of any kind that may reduce the runner’s ability to hear surrounding traffic are prohibited from use while jogging or running on Fort Irwin streets and roads. Use sidewalks or running paths. Pedestrians and runners must use sidewalks when available in lieu of roads. If there are no sidewalks, then pedestrians can use the shoulder of the road and face oncoming traffic.
- Alert drivers
- Be aware of busy pedestrian crosswalk intersections and obey the traffic signals. On Fort Irwin you must wait until all crosswalks are clear and the lights have stopped blinking before proceeding.
- At crosswalks, make eye contact with the pedestrian. It is important for both the pedestrian and driver to understand each other’s intention.
- Slowdown in marked school zones and playground areas.
- Don’t speed through parking lots.
- Look out for pedestrians at bus stop areas. Passengers may be crossing in front of, or behind busses and not seen until the last moment.
- Stay alert and slow to 10 miles per hour for marching or running troop formations, and slow to 15 miles per hour in school zones. Obey designated road guards and crossing officials.