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Pedestrian accidents are a very serious problem throughout the world, especially in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 5,000 pedestrians are killed annually while 69,000 are injured in accidents involving motor vehicles. On average, this means that a pedestrian is injured every eight minutes and one is killed every 120 minutes; majority of these injuries involve children and the elderly. These numbers are very alarming and need to be addressed more aggressively.
People are always vulnerable to injuries and accidents on the road, no matter how careful they are in following road safety rules. Motorists also cause pedestrian-related accidents. Drivers who are speeding, under the influence of alcohol or drugs, reckless drivers and those who are distracted with cell phones or eating also cause accidents.
There are a lot of ways to prevent these accidents from happening. Motorists need to be responsible drivers. They should be alert and aware of their environment, especially in areas where there is a lot of foot traffic. Speed limits should be followed and common courtesy practiced. Effective city planning can also prevent mishaps from happening. Urban planning for pedestrian safety aims to prevent walkers and cyclists from being struck by vehicles by incorporating safety measures in the design of a development.
One of these pedestrian safety measures is tools that guide pedestrians to the protected parts of a street. They give awareness where pedestrians can safely stay when walking or cycling or even just standing up. These pedestrian safety tools include:
Pedestrian barricades. These protect pedestrians from hazardous areas. They come in brightly colored reflective panels to form as barriers alerting traffic of caution areas and crosswalks. They are also used for such areas as escalators, control panels, and other service situations to alert the public to existing maintenance repair that are off-limits to the general public.
Traffic Delineators. These lightweight and portable plastic posts are used to direct traffic where space is limited. They come in bright colors and are made retro-reflective for added visibility at night. They are used for applications such as pedestrian guidance, roof perimeter markers, temporary parking stall lines and plastic fence support, among others. They can be mounted on road surfaces or guardrails.
Plastic Stanchions. These decorative posts are used to mark boundaries, defining pedestrian or vehicular traffic. They are an effective solution for managing waiting lines and restrict access to certain areas as well. They are used for commercial environments, institutions, parks and golf courses.
Pedestrian-related accidents can result in injury and even death. It can also amount to substantial medical bills and months of lost work. Pedestrian safety is a big issue. The sad thing is that, unlike vehicular accidents, pedestrian accidents are given minimal attention. As a result, not everyone is aware of how to avoid them. Prevention is still the best way to approach this problem. Pedestrians and drivers alike should be aware of their surroundings and the traffic rules on the streets. Road and pedestrian safety is everyone's responsibility.