JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Whether driving a vehicle, walking or biking, keep your head up and be alert – every step counts. The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety is announcing a week-long campaign June 6-12 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.
Preliminary data from 2020 indicates 128 pedestrians were killed and 316 others were seriously injured in Missouri traffic crashes. The top contributing factors for pedestrians involved in these crashes were failure to yield, alcohol or drug impairment, and distraction/inattention.
“We want to be sure our citizens are as safe as possible when using all modes of transportation,” said Jon Nelson, chair of the executive committee of the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety. “We encourage all drivers, cyclists and pedestrians to make safe choices so everyone, no matter the mode of transportation, makes it to their destination safely. Slow down, pay attention, and if impaired, find a suitable alternative to reach your destination.”
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 your vehicle is stranded, remain in the vehicle with your seat belt on. If you must exit a stalled vehicle alongside the roadway, do so on the opposite side of traffic and do not attempt to walk across the oncoming traffic.
- 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.
- Avoid walking while wearing headphones. You won’t 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.
- Always put your cellphone down and don’t look at it when driving or walking. Stay alert to all the challenges of the road.
Missouri’s new strategic highway safety plan, Show-Me Zero, Driving Missouri Toward Safer Roads, identifies four key messages to help turn the tide: buckle up, phones down, slow down, and sober up. For more information on the Show-Me Zero plan, and to check out the Coalition’s new video promoting the plan, visit www.savemolives.com.