October marks Pedestrian Safety Month

As it grows darker earlier through the month of October, the risk of a pedestrian accident increases, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV).

The department and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are teaming up to remind drivers and pedestrians of ways to protect themselves and others during this National Pedestrian Safety Month.

From September to February, most pedestrian fatalities―over 30 percent―occur between the hours of 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

“Last year, we lost more than 700 Floridians―our friends, family members, neighbors, and coworkers―in senseless and preventable pedestrian-involved crashes,” Terry L. Rhodes, FLHSMV executive director, said in a press release.

In Florida last year, pedestrian fatalities formed 21 percent of all traffic deaths, and 8,107 crashes involved pedestrians.

“Florida is a tourist destination state with hundreds of miles of beachfront communities along with other attractions,” said Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum, president of the Florida Sheriffs Association. “As we drive through our state, please remember that the safety of pedestrians is a shared responsibility.”

Top Tips for Pedestrians:

  • Use sidewalks or walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible.
  • Cross streets at crosswalks or intersections, where drivers expect pedestrians.
  • Never text or look at your cell phone when crossing the street.

Top Tips for Drivers:

  • Look out for pedestrians everywhere, at all times.
  • Slow down and be prepared to stop when turning or otherwise entering a crosswalk.
  • Be extra cautious when backing up—pedestrians can move into your path.
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