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July is “National Roadside Traffic Safety Awareness Month”
The Pedestrian Safety Institute (PedestrianSafetyInstitute.org) and MAGLITE want to bring awareness and reduce injuries and fatalities along our roads and highways of pedestrians — in the deadly month Fourth of July Weekend and Month of July
(Ontario, California) The Pedestrian Safety Institute (PSI) and MAGLITE are urging pedestrians and motorists to be extra vigilant to save lives during July and the rest of the “vacation-months” the most dangerous time of the year for traffic fatalities. PSI and MAGLITE 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 40 year high with nearly 7,500 pedestrians killed in 2021, according to estimates from the Governors Highway Safety Association. Pedestrians accounted for 17% of all traffic deaths in 2020, compared to 13% in 2010. While pedestrian deaths have risen by 54% over the past decade, all other traffic deaths have increased by 13%, 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 fatal crashes as well, 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.
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