JEFFERSON CITY, MO – The warmer weather and eased pandemic restrictions have more Missourian’s on the roadways. Whether in a vehicle, walking or biking, keep your head up and be alert – safety is a two-way street.
The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety is announcing a week-long campaign June 21-27 focusing on pedestrian safety. The campaign will be geared toward pedestrians and drivers, educating both about being alert and what to watch out for to ensure everyone is safe.
In 2019, 110 pedestrians were killed in Missouri and 307 were seriously injured. The top pedestrian contributing factors involved were failure to yield, alcohol or drug impairment, and distraction/inattention.
“We encourage all drivers, cyclists and pedestrians to make safe choices so everyone, no matter the mode of transportation, makes it to their destination safe,” said MoDOT Highway Safety and Traffic Engineer Nicole Hood.
Keep the following pedestrian safety tips in mind anytime you walk:
- Drivers and pedestrians need to make eye contact with each other. Don’t assume that the other one has seen you.
- If you’re in a stalled vehicle alongside the roadway, stay in the vehicle with your seat belt on until help arrives.
- Only cross at an intersection or crosswalk – stepping out from between parked cars or other obstacles by the road can keep a driver from being able to see you and stop in time.
- Look left, right and then left again before crossing an intersection or crosswalk – you always want to double check the lane that you’ll be entering first.
- Be aware of drivers even when you are in a designated crosswalk – drivers can look and use their mirrors, but there are always blind spots.
- Don’t wear headphones while walking or biking – you won’t to be able to hear if a car is coming.
- Always wear brightly colored clothing for visibility when exercising alongside a roadway.
- Always walk against the flow of traffic rather than with the traffic.
- Always be cautious when exiting parking lots and be on the lookout for pedestrians.
Speed also plays a critical role in preventing pedestrian fatalities, especially in urbanized areas. A person struck by a vehicle at 20 mph has a 90% chance of survival. At 40 mph, the chance of survival drops to just 20%. Drivers who slow down, buckle up and put down their phone help make the state’s transportation system better for everyone. For more information, visit savemolives.com or follow on social media at Save MO Lives.