Oregon Pedestrian Fatalities
You might not have known that despite a significant reduction in motor vehicle accident fatalities over the past 40 years, pedestrians, though they have decreased, also remain accountable for an estimated 15 percent of the total number of traffic deaths in the United States.
Typically, most fatal pedestrian accidents occur in urban areas at non-intersections. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that certain safety measures can reduce pedestrian dangers including refuge islands, sidewalks, pedestrian over and underpasses, and other traffic barriers that separate vulnerable road users from motor vehicles.
The IIHS also reports that reducing speed limits, improved illumination, crosswalk beacons, and intersection signal timing improvements can each work to reduce pedestrian deaths. Other factors, such as crash avoidance systems and rear vehicle cameras may also reduce pedestrian -motor vehicle accidents however they are still too new for their effectiveness to be determined.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that total traffic fatalities in Oklahoma fell from 2006 to 2015 from 478 total deaths to 447. During that same time period, unrestrained vehicle passenger deaths fell from 107 to 76, unhelmeted motorcycle rider deaths rose from 1 to 3, and fatal traffic accidents involving drivers under 21 fell from 71 to 50. Bicyclist fatalities dropped from 14 to 8, but pedestrian deaths increased from 47 to 69, the highest in any single year for the ten years prior.
Clearly, our state needs to do more to protect those who walk, job, or stand beside roadways. But so do our drivers. Nearly all fatal traffic crashes are preventable, but drivers must commit to the rules of the road if our state hopes to reach zero preventable deaths. This means always remaining focused on the road in front of you while being aware of what’s going on around your vehicle.