Whether in a parking lot, crosswalk, or on a road, everyone is a pedestrian. In a crash between a vehicle and a pedestrian, the pedestrian is far more likely to be killed or injured. In 2018 & 2019, 48 Iowans lost their life in a pedestrian crash. For this reason, the Marshalltown Police Department is partnering up with the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau to help recognize October as Pedestrian Safety Month.
Safety is a shared responsibility between the drivers and pedestrians. There are many actions pedestrians can take to stay safe. Some safety tips for pedestrians are to stay visible, don’t be distracted when you walk, cross only at corners, make eye contact with drivers, and walk and cross with others. In 2018, there were 6,283 pedestrians killed in traffic crashes in the United States. Pedestrian deaths accounted for 17% of all traffic fatalities in 2018 which equates to a traffic-related pedestrian death every 84 minutes.
There are more actions that the driver can take to keep pedestrians safe. Some safety tips for the driver are to obey the speed limit, slow down and be prepared to stop, yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, never pass vehicles at a crosswalk, and be extra cautious in school zones and neighborhoods. It’s important to remember that children are often the smallest pedestrians, making them harder to see. Additionally, younger children may dart into intersections without understanding the dangers.
Distracted driving has become one of the leading causes of vehicle crashes on our nation’s roads. Increased distracted drivers are leading to more pedestrian-involved collisions. Remember that sending or receiving an average text message takes the driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent of driving blindfold at 55-mph for the length of an entire football field. Those few seconds of distracted driving could result in hitting a pedestrian in front of you.
The Marshalltown Police Department’s goal is to bring awareness and help spread the importance of pedestrian safety. Our agency reported 8 crashes involving pedestrians in 2019. Of those pedestrian related crashes, one was fatal, one resulted in serious injury, five had minor injury, and two were reported with possible injury. The Marshalltown Police Department is urging our drivers to slow down and be alert for pedestrians.
Questions about this media release may be directed to Sgt. Casee Veren via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone by calling 641.754.5725. Thank you!