July is “National Roadside Traffic Safety Awareness Month”
The Pedestrian Safety Institute (PedestrianSafetyInstitute.org) and Mag Instrument (MAG) want to bring awareness and reduce injuries and fatalities of pedestrians along our roads and highways over the deadly Fourth of July Weekend and Month of July
(Ontario, California) The Pedestrian Safety Institute (PSI) and MAG are urging pedestrians and motorists to be extra vigilant to save lives during July and the rest of the summer “vacation-months” which are the most dangerous time of the year for traffic fatalities. PSI and MAG are promoting a public education campaign, National Roadside Traffic Safety Awareness Month. The goal is to reduce fatalities and injuries that occur on our roads and highways in vehicle traffic accidents, especially among pedestrians, who are far likelier to be fatally struck by vehicles at night than in the daytime.
The number of pedestrian fatalities in the U.S. hit a 25 year high with nearly 6,000 pedestrians killed in 2017, according to estimates from the Governors Highway Safety Association. The high rate of pedestrian deaths comes as deaths from other types of traffic fatalities are dropping. The group notes that improvements in vehicle safety make crashes safer for people inside cars — but just as deadly for pedestrians. Pedestrian deaths rose by 27 percent from 2007 to 2016, while other types of traffic deaths dropped by 14 percent, GHSA reports. As a result, pedestrian deaths make up a growing proportion of overall motor vehicle fatalities.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data indicate that three of the four deadliest holiday weekends occur during the “vacation months” – Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day Weekends. And while alcohol-impaired driving is a factor in 29% of fatal crashes overall, the rate at which a drunk driver is involved rises significantly on those holiday weekends.
The “vacation months” are also a time for special caution at night. Despite traffic volumes being far lower at night than in the daytime, more than 1/3rd of all fatal crashes occur during the hours of dusk, darkness and dawn. And crashes at night are significantly deadlier than daytime crashes: In the hours from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., the rate of fatalities (per 1,000 crashes) is more than double the daytime rate, rising to nearly 4 times the daytime rate for crashes occurring in the after-midnight hours.
When a car becomes disabled at night it is a much more dangerous situation then during the daylight hours due to the reduced visibility. A good flashlight with a traffic/safety wand (a plastic cone that fits on the flashlight and glows when the light is turned on), is an important safety item for anyone who drives at night, and even more important for anybody who walks along a road at night.
A series of safety tips for National Roadside Traffic Safety Awareness Month is available at http://maglite.com/nrtsa.