Monday, July 20, 2009


Pedestrian accidents can be prevented

As trauma program manager at The William W. Backus Hospital, I see my share of pedestrian injuries and fatalities.

But what I’ve seen recently is alarming.

There have been at least five serious crashes involving motor vehicles and pedestrians in the past month and a half that have resulted in hospitalizations. This is more than the entire year in 2008.

Nationally, each year there are approximately 4,600 pedestrian fatalities and 70,000 injuries, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration.

Sadly, many of these could be prevented by taking some simple safety steps:
- Look left, right and left again before you cross the road.
- Use sidewalks.
- Cross only at intersections and crosswalks.
- Wear white or reflective clothing, especially at night.
- Stop at the end of the curb before crossing.
- Walk facing traffic.
- Don’t let anyone younger than 10 cross the street alone.
- Make sure drivers see you before crossing.
- Don’t run – walk across the street.

Drivers also have a role to play. They should always yield at cross walks, obey speed limits and never drink and drive. Nearly 50% of motor vehicle vs. pedestrian crashes are alcohol-related.

While many of these safety tips seem like common sense, you’d be surprised to know how many people don’t follow them. More often than not, the results are disastrous.

Gillian Mosier is a registered nurse and manager of the Backus Trauma Program. This column should not replace the advice of your physician. To comment on this or other Healthy Living columns, go to the Healthy Living blog at or email the columnists at

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