OSHP: Pedestrian Safety Is A Shared Responsibility

This October, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is launching the first National Pedestrian Safety Month with the goal of increasing awareness about pedestrian safety, and reminding drivers and walkers that staying safe is a shared responsibility.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol says, as the end of Daylight Saving Time approaches and the nights get longer, the risks for pedestrians increase.

From September to February, more than 30 percent of pedestrian fatalities occur between 6 and 9 p.m.

Also, know that things like drugs and alcohol, and distraction not only affect someone’s ability to drive, but to walk safely.

The Highway Patrol says, since 2016, there have been 14,677 pedestrian-related crashes on Ohio’s roadways.

Of those, 807 were fatal crashes involving the deaths of 814 pedestrians.

During this time, 41 percent of pedestrian-related crashes occurred between 6 and 11 p.m.

One in three pedestrian-related crashes occurred on a Friday or Saturday.

Pedestrians were at fault in 35 percent of pedestrian-related crashes, and 53 percent of the fatal pedestrian-related crashes.

Pedestrians should always use a sidewalk when it is provided.

It is unlawful for pedestrians to walk along and upon the adjacent roadway if a sidewalk is available.

Where no sidewalk or shoulder exists, pedestrians may walk as close as practicable to an outside edge of the road, facing oncoming traffic.

“Whether you’re on foot or behind the wheel, you should always be aware of your surroundings,” said Lieutenant Matt Crow, Findlay Post Commander.

“Keep alert at all times to ensure pedestrians can be seen.”

He says pedestrians and motorists can follow the following tips to increase pedestrian safety:

– Do not be distracted by electronic devices that take your eyes and ears off the road.

– Pedestrians should wear bright or reflective clothing, especially at night.

– Pedestrians should cross where motorists expect them to, follow pedestrian signs and signals, and never assume a driver can see you.

– Motorists are required to yield to pedestrians in a marked crosswalk and in unmarked crosswalks at intersections.

– Motorists can use bright headlights when legally able to illuminate the roadway and possibly spot a pedestrian walking near the roadway.

– Motorists should slow down and drive cautiously in residential areas.