LONG ISLAND, N.Y. — The New York Coalition for Transportation Safety (“Coalition”) told Long Island News 12 that pedestrian deaths are increased sharply during the COVID-19 pandemic because people stuck at home have started walking to pass the time. The Coalition also reported that the largest increase of pedestrian deaths is in minority communities where the COVID-19 pandemic has reaped havoc. The Coalition wants motorists to be more cautious than usual when driving now because more pedestrians are on the road. Coalition members also ask drivers to observe all traffic laws, avoid driving while distracted, and drive at or below posted speed limits in an effort to reduce the number of pedestrian deaths to zero.
With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing us to hide inside our homes as winter fades, and spring blooms, more and more people are drawn outside just to take a walk. Walking is a fantastic method to reduce stress and a great way to avoid packing on the weight while we wait out the worst of the pandemic. We could be stuck in this pattern for several additional months as experts try to sort out when we are safe to go back to work, go shopping, go to a ball game, and return to our normal lives.
In the U.S. every year, 77,000 pedestrians get hurt, and about 4,000 are killed. Pedestrians make up around eleven percent (11%) of all transportation yet account for thirteen percent (13%) of all traffic deaths according to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and cited by the trafficsafetystore.com. Incidentally, pedestrian accidents happen most often on bright, sunny days. Estimates suggest that 90 percent of all pedestrian collisions with cars happen on days defined as sunny. Additionally, the age of the pedestrian plays a substantial role in pedestrian accidents. People 65 or older and children younger than 15 make up 27 percent of all pedestrian fatalities and 34 percent of all injuries.
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