Each year, the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute prepares a traffic safety report of state data for the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Included in this report are the new statistics involving pedestrian fatalities. According to the numbers for 2017, there were 107 pedestrians killed, an increase of 22 over 2016, and the highest number in the past 10 years.
Pedestrian accidents happen in all sorts of ways and we have written about some on this blog. For example, a person may be hit by a vehicle while trying to help a stranded motorist or a pedestrian might be struck by a car while they are trying to cross the street. Sadly, some drivers simply do not pay attention to pedestrians or keep a close watch on the road when they drive, which puts lives at risk. In Indiana, and across the rest of the country, many lives are lost each year due to pedestrian accidents and it is vital for everyone to realize just how widespread these fatal incidents are.
Whether you take walks to enjoy fresh air, for exercise or as a means of getting from point A to point B, you probably understand the importance of following Indiana's traffic laws for pedestrians. Unfortunately, you cannot guarantee that your safety precautions will keep you safe, and in a collision with a vehicle, you will almost certainly come out the loser.
Most Indiana residents take basic actions like crossing the street on foot for granted. These things are in many ways simple and should be easily done. However, because cars can be on the roads at the same time, pedestrians have to be ever aware of the risks they face. Even if a pedestrian is crossing in the location and at the time they should, they can still be struck by vehicles because not all drivers are appropriately aware or safe.
Whether walking or running for exercise or simply on foot when going between cars and offices, shops or homes, pedestrians in Indiana must navigate and share the roads with cars, trucks, motorcycles and other vehicles. Every state has its own laws designed to provide appropriate safety for pedestrians while also keeping in mind traffic flow considerations. Knowing the laws in Indiana is important for pedestrians and motorists alike.
The thought of any person on foot being hit by a vehicle can be enough to make anyone in Indiana shudder. When the person hit is a child with their whole life still before them, the tragedy can feel even worse. Grieving parents and fellow students at schools are left wondering why such a thing could be allowed to happen. This would be a natural thing to feel and may well be what many in the case of an accident that happened in Homer City last year may have experienced.
Pedestrians in Indiana know that they must always be on the lookout for drivers who may not necessarily see them. This can be while walking across a parking lot, on a sidewalk or crossing an intersection. Even if a pedestrian has the right of way, they must exercise caution as an accident between a person on foot and a vehicle will generally turn out worse for the pedestrian due to the inherent lack of protection around them.
The long daylight hours of summer and the warm weather naturally give rise to a greater number of people out and about on foot. If you are on the many Indiana residents who looks forward to spending more time outside at this time of year, you'll want to pay special attention to keeping yourself safe.
Indiana residents who have been waiting for the return of spring to be out and about more on foot should be pleased to see that spring is finally here. However, before rushing out to go for that run or walk or even to simply appreciate walking from a car to building in pleasant weather, it is important to make safety a priority. As much as it would be nice to think that drivers will always look for and stop for pedestrians, that simply does not happen all the time.
At some point, any Indiana resident may find himself or herself as a pedestrian among moving vehicles. Whether running or walking for exercise or simply walking from a car across a parking lot or a street to a building, navigating traffic comes with a natural set of risks.