(Rutherford County, TN) Most people are pedestrians whether they walk or bicycle. The Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office recently highlighted a national report that showed, “More than 6,500 pedestrians were killed and 55,000 injured in 2020 in the U.S.” The National Highway Traffic & Safety Administration confirmed that Tennessee recorded the 12th highest number of pedestrian deaths across the United States just two-years-ago. That ranking breaks down to 2.50 fatal pedestrian accidents per every 100-thousand residents. The state with the highest number of pedestrian fatalities was New Mexico, followed by South Carolina at number two and Mississippi at number three on the list.
Specifically in Rutherford County, there have been 45 pedestrian involved accidents between January 1st of 2020 through October 6 of this year (2022). Of that number, 6 were on a bicycle. When calculating the number of fatal pedestrian accidents in Rutherford County from 2020 to date, 13 of the 45-accidents ended in a fatality. Over the same time span in nearby Nashville, a total of 369 pedestrian accidents were reported, 22 of which involved a bicycle rider. Out of the 369 pedestrian accidents in Davidson County, 111 resulted in a fatality, according to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security.
The risk of being struck by a motorist while walking or riding a bike is not only in the hands of the pedestrian, but also in the hands of drivers using or failing to use precaution when operating a motor vehicle. Drivers can reduce the deaths and injuries of pedestrians by obeying speed limits and of course, by watching for walkers and bicyclists.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests:
- Look out for pedestrians everywhere, at all times.
- Use extra caution when driving in hard-to-see conditions, such as nighttime or bad weather.
- Slow down and be prepared to stop when turning or otherwise entering a crosswalk.
- Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and stop well back from the crosswalk to give other vehicles an opportunity to see the crossing pedestrians so they can stop too.
- Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. There may be people crossing where you can’t see.
- Never drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
- Follow the speed limit, especially around people on the street, in school zones and in neighborhoods where children are present.
- Be extra cautious when backing up and look for pedestrians.
Pedestrian safety is a shared responsibility, so let’s work together to keep everyone safe.
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