According to data recently released by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), there was a 10 percent increase in pedestrian-related deaths nationwide from 2014 to 2015. Sadly, there were 65 pedestrian deaths statewide in 2015, nine of which were in Colorado Springs. So far, there have already been two pedestrian deaths in 2016 in Colorado Springs. Fortunately, there are several things we can all do to help prevent 2016’s numbers from reaching the level of 2015.
While people often focus on the importance of not drinking and driving, it is not just the responsibility of drivers to stay sober on the roadways. Five of the nine Colorado Springs pedestrians who died in car accidents last year were under the influence of either drugs or alcohol.
Be Especially Careful at Night
According to data released by the GHSA, two-thirds of nationwide pedestrian deaths occurred at night. Because it is dark, it is harder for both drivers and pedestrians to see. As a driver, make sure your lights are on so other drivers and pedestrians will see you. You should also be extra diligent about watching for pedestrians, especially in residential areas or places where people often walk later at night.
If you are a pedestrian traveling after dark, wear bright, reflective clothing. You may even want to use a flashlight, especially in poorly lit areas. While you should always watch for cars and never assume a driver will stop for you, it is especially important to not make this assumption at night, when the driver may not even see you until it is too late to avoid a collision.