Unifying Alabama's Traffic Safety Efforts
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Pedestrians


Making Our Streets and Communities Safer and More Healthy


USDOT Transportation.gov: "It’s the most basic form of transportation, the one available to most of us regardless of age, the size of our bank accounts, or access to other options. It’s non-polluting, builds community cohesion and can dampen crime. And it’s something almost all of us could use far more of. In fact, it is tough to find a social, economic, or ecological problem it couldn’t help to address. Yet for too many Americans, walking remains far more perilous than it should be.For the second year in a row, traffic deaths across the U.S. have spiked amid low gas prices, a recovering economy, lax laws and enforcement, and ever-increasing distractions. While this statistic is alarming, America Walks finds another development especially shocking: pedestrian fatalities are now

For the second year in a row, traffic deaths across the U.S. have spiked amid low gas prices, a recovering economy, lax laws and enforcement, and ever-increasing distractions. While this statistic is alarming, America Walks finds another development especially shocking: pedestrian fatalities are now outpacing traffic-related fatalities involving all other modes."

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'Distracted Walking' May be to Blame for Increase in Pedestrian Accidents Around Alabama
WBRC: We're all probably guilty of walking and talking or texting on our cell phones. In Alabama, researchers found more than 60% of accidents involving distracted walking are caused by pedestrians, not drivers. Our On Your Side Investigators are looking into this troubling trend.

"Probably more often than not whether I'm walking to lunch during work or something usually on my phone catching up with social media,” Cameron Adams who was walking in Railroad Park said.

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Reducing Speed and Alcohol Impairment Key to Preventing Pedestrian Deaths
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MAY 8, 2018
CONTACT: Madison Forker
202-789-0942 x120
Reducing Speed and Alcohol Impairment Key to Preventing Pedestrian Deaths 
Statement for Attribution to Governors Highway Safety Association
Executive Director Jonathan Adkins
WASHINGTON, DC – Earlier this year, GHSA projected nearly 6,000 pedestrians were killed in 2017 on U.S. roads for the second year in a row. By analyzing where, when and why pedestrian fatalities most often occur, today’s Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) report reinforces what needs to be done to curb these preventable tragedies through strong engineering, enforcement and education measures.

Reducing motor vehicle speed is essential to both avoid and mitigate the severity of pedestrian crashes. We know that enforcing speed limits through traditional and automated means can have a dramatic effect at getting drivers to slow down. Speed can no longer be a forgotten issue if we are going to significantly reduce deaths and injuries for all road users.

Expanding the alcohol impairment message is also important. Comparing 2009 and 2016, IIHS found a 38% increase in pedestrians killed in crashes with BACs of .08 or higher. As IIHS previously recommended in 2017, public awareness campaigns aimed at reducing impaired driving should be broadened to include all roadway users, including pedestrians.

Additionally, education and enforcement efforts must work in tandem with infrastructure improvements, utilizing tools such as roundabouts and road diets to decrease driver speed and consider the safety of all road users as roadways are designed and re-engineered.

GHSA’s Everyone Walks report makes many of these same recommendations, calling for states to take new steps to combat speeding, expand their impaired driving programs to all road users, and educate the public on the importance of engineering and design changes that will improve safety outcomes for everyone.

GHSA is grateful for IIHS’ commitment to understanding the common threads in pedestrian fatalities and calling for action to prevent these tragedies. GHSA will continue to work with our members and partners on the road to zero traffic deaths
Identification of High Pedestrian Crash Locations
FHWA's Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety: An initial step in reducing the frequency of pedestrian crashes is identifying where they occur or where there is a concern they are likely to occur. Once locations with a large number of pedestrian crashes or with a safety concern for pedestrians have been identified, appropriate treatments can be selected and installed.

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Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State (2017 Preliminary Data)
GHSA: In recent years, the number of pedestrian fatalities in the United States has grown substantially faster than all other traffic deaths. The number of pedestrian fatalities increased 27 percent from 2007 to 2016, while at the same time, all other traffic deaths decreased by 14 percent. Pedestrian deaths as a proportion of total motor vehicle crash deaths increased steadily, from 11 percent in 2007 to 16 percent in 2016. Pedestrians now account for a larger proportion of traffic fatalities than they have in the past 33 years.

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New Report Projects 2017 Pedestrian Fatalities at 25-Year High
States reported a total of 2,636 pedestrian fatalities for the first six months of 2017. Adjusting the raw data based on past data trends, GHSA projects that pedestrian deaths in 2017 will total 5,984, essentially unchanged from 2016, in which 5,987 people on foot lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes. Pedestrians now account for approximately 16% of all motor vehicle deaths, compared with 11% just a few years ago.

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Distracted Pedestrians Put Themselves in Danger
The Crimson White: The United States had 5,987 pedestrian fatalities last year, the highest number recorded since 1990, according to The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

Rhonda Stricklin, associate director of the Center for Advanced Public Safety (CAPS), said these high numbers coupled with the distracted walkers she sees on campus scare her. “I was surprised when I started looking at these numbers by how many pedestrians get killed every year, and that’s scary on our campus because there’s so many, and I see people just walking,” Stricklin said. “They do have the right of way, but if you’re dead, you’re dead. Even if you use that right of way, it pays for you just to look and just be sure before you step out into the road.” 

While there are many different causes for pedestrian deaths, David Brown, research affiliate for CAPS, said there are types of warnings and information that make people take precaution with traffic that they may not hear when walking with headphones in. Brown said pedestrians tend to be in “another world" if distracted by a cell phone, even if it is strictly an oral conversation. However, he said the distraction is much worse if texting is involved. “Clearly when a person is paying attention to their surroundings they are much less apt to get hit by a car, and if they should get caught unaware for some reason, they are much more apt to take some kind of protective action to lessen the severity of the crash than someone who never sees the vehicle coming at them at all,” Brown said. He said there are certain times of day where drugs and alcohol are not usually the reason for pedestrian distractions, such as students walking to class during the day, so during those times texting or calling someone is likely one of the biggest threats.

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Guide for Improving Pedestrian Safety at Uncontrolled Crossing Locations
Federal Highway Administration: Pedestrians are among the most vulnerable road users, accounting for approximately 16 percent of all roadway fatalities nationally in 2016, per the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS).1 Pedestrians are especially vulnerable at non-intersection locations, where 72 percent of pedestrian fatalities occur.

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Discussion Guide for Automated and Connected Vehicles, Pedestrians, and Bicyclists
Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center: Pedestrians and bicyclists are a powerful indicator of the social and economic health and safety of a community. A high level of pedestrian and bicycle activity in a community is often associated with more robust economies and healthier, more socially-cohesive populations, while a lack of pedestrian and bicycle activity on roadways can be an indicator that personal security and safety needs are not being met or that destinations cannot be accessed on foot or by bike (PBIC, n.d.).

Presently, technology innovations are disrupting the status quo and reshaping the ways in which people travel. Auto manufacturers are offering new vehicle automation technologies in an effort to improve safety, ease the driving task, and appeal to car buyers. At the same time, nontraditional entities—such as technology firms like Google, Uber, and nuTonomy—are adopting new roles in the transportation arena, advancing shared mobility services and hastening the speed of automation technology development. As vehicle technologies become more automated, navigation around and interactions with pedestrians and bicyclists in complex travel environments will determine their success.

Public uptake of automated vehicles on a large scale basis will not happen until pedestrian and bicycle safety issues are addressed. Despite this fact, pedestrian and bicyclist safety and health issues are not at the forefront of automated vehicle discussions and research. For example, a January 2017 content analysis of 432 United States (U.S.) and international articles related to automated vehicle issues identified fewer than 20 that discussed pedestrian or bicycle topics, either briefly or in depth (Cavoli, 2017).

This paper presents ten key challenge areas that need to be at the center of automated vehicle

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Establishing Procedures and Guidelines for Pedestrian Treatments at Uncontrolled Locations
Pedestrians are the most vulnerable road users. The risks to pedestrians crossing at uncontrolled locations are much higher than at signalized intersections. There has been an increasing trend in pedestrian deaths during the past decade. Specifically, pedestrian fatality as percent of total fatalities indicates an increasing trend in a ten-year period from 2005 to 2014. Several research projects funded by both federal and state transportation agencies have attempted to identify effective strategies for improving pedestrian safety within their jurisdictions. However, very little research was conducted on pedestrian safety at uncontrolled locations in Illinois. 

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USDOT - Pedestrian and Bike Risk Exposure
The USDOT has released a report that describes the methods used to estimate and evaluate exposure risk in pedestrian and bicyclist safety analyses.  One definition of a risk was the measure of the probability of a crash to occur given exposure to potential crash events.

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USDOT - Supporting Safe and Complete Pedestrian and Bicycle Networks
The US Department on Transportation has released a policy guide in hopes of increasing safety for bikes and pedestrians.This policy guidebook provides local and state agencies with the tools to create a solid policy platform to support the creation of multimodal transportation networks for users of all ages and abilities.

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Pedestrian Fatalities Projected to Surge 11% in 2016
There are many possible factors contributing to this spike. As economic conditions improve and gas prices remain low, the U.S. has seen an increase in motor vehicle miles traveled. At the same time, a growing number of Americans are choosing to travel by foot for health, transportation, economic or environmental reasons.

Another potential factor is a sharp rise in the use of smartphones to send and receive multimedia messages, a frequent source of mental and visual distraction for both walkers and drivers.

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Laying the Foundation for Vehicle-to-Pedestrian Communications
When a car hits a pedestrian, the pedestrian takes the full brunt of the severe and sometimes fatal injuries. Between 2014 and 2015, pedestrian fatalities in the U.S. increased by 9.5 percent.

Vehicle-to-pedestrian (V2P) communications can help avoid impacts or reduce the consequences when light vehicles—10,000 pounds or less—collide with pedestrians.

Volpe experts analyzed data from national crash databases that code hundreds of thousands of real crashes to help the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) understand the scenarios that lead up to vehicle-pedestrian crashes and how V2P technology can help avoid them.

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NHTSA Sets 'Quiet Car' Safety Standard to Protect Pedestrians
The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today announced that it is adding a sound requirement for all newly manufactured hybrid and electric light-duty vehicles to help protect pedestrians. The new federal safety standard will help pedestrians who are blind, have low vision, and other pedestrians detect the presence, direction and location of these vehicles when they are traveling at low speeds, which will help prevent about 2,400 pedestrian injuries each year once all hybrids in the fleet are properly equipped.

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America Walks: September 2016 Newsletter
September 2016: America Walks Heads to Vancouver for Pro Walk/Pro Bike/Pro Place

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Road User Behaviors at Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons
The pedestrian hybrid beacon (PHB) - or high-intensity activated crosswalk (HAWK), as it is known in Tuscon, AZ - is a traffic control device used at pedestrian crossings. The treatment typically has the crosswalk marked on only one of the major road approaches. The PHB's vehicular display faces are generally located on mast arms over the major approaches to an intersection and in some locations on the roadside.

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Pothole Detection for the Visually Impaired
A prototype for a detection system that uses a camera paired with lasers to spot potholes and other potential surface hazards has been developed to help visually impaired pedestrians.       

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