Looking both ways just the beginning when it comes to pedestrian safety

Local News

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – In less than 24 hours, two pedestrians were killed in vehicle accidents, in two separate cities in the Tri-State.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in the United States in 2019, a pedestrian was killed every 85 minutes in traffic crashes. That year 6,205 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes, which was a 2.7% decrease from the previous year.

“Any time that you are using the roadway it is vitally important that you are focused on the task at hand,” said Aimee Cantrell, Public Information Specialist at West Virginia Governor’s Highway Safety Program.

By state in 2019, there were 124 pedestrian fatalities in Ohio, 73 in Kentucky and 31 in West Virginia. Cantrell said there are some things both motorists and pedestrians can do to stay safe.

“I would suggest that we always look for a crosswalk and you’ll usually see them where there are going to be intersections and lights,” she said, while standing at a crosswalk in Kanawha City. “You can always push the button and make sure that you wait until it tells you that it is safe to cross.”

She said another important thing is to put your cell phone down whether you are the one behind the wheel or the one crossing the street.

“Navigating traffic can be tricky especially for a pedestrian. So we just encourage them to be as aware of their surroundings as possible,” she said.

Motorists also need to follow speed limits and slow down when pedestrians are around, staying particularly focused in places where children are present, like school zones and neighborhoods.

“The thing that we need to remember as motorists is your vehicle is a potential deadly weapon and we should treat it as such,” Cantrell said. “That is a lot of weight and power when you are driving a vehicle.”

For more information on pedestrian traffic fatalities and safety tips click here and here.

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