Submitted By Brian Raimondo
Being a pedestrian in Lee County is much more dangerous than almost any other metro area in the country. The annual number and rate of pedestrians killed or seriously injured on Lee county streets has come in well above average for decades.
Florida continues to be ranked as one of the most dangerous states in America for pedestrians, with Lee County being ranked among the top ten most dangerous metro areas for pedestrians, according to Transportation for America in their biannual Dangerous by Design report. The age of a pedestrian involved in crashes ranges from 2 to 82.
To avoid being among these dismal statistics, there are several steps a pedestrian can take to be safe, which include following these rules when walking, running, skating, skateboarding, or operating assistive devices:
- When sidewalks are not available or passable, walk facing traffic on the shoulder (on the left side of the road). This will ensure that you can see a vehicle approaching and can get out of its way.
- Cross streets at crosswalks or intersections whenever possible. Lee County has many areas where crosswalks are few and far between. If a crosswalk is not available, find a well-lit area to cross where vehicles can see you.
- Never assume that a driver sees you. Try to make eye contact. Don’t walk out in front of a vehicles unless it has stopped.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs when walking; these impair your abilities and judgement.
- One of the most important things you can do to reduce pedestrian accidents is to be visible: wear light, bright clothing in the daytime and reflective material at night. It’s even advisable to carry a flashlight so you can see for better footing.
- When school is in session, children should follow the instructions provided by crossing guards. When waiting for school buses, students should not stand or sit near the roadway.
Drivers also should be aware of their surroundings at all times. Do not block sidewalks or bike paths when parking. Remember that your vehicle is a weapon—meaning that at 30 mph you have a 45 percent chance of killing the person you hit; at 40 mph there’s an 85 percent chance the pedestrian will be killed.
The Lee County Injury Prevention Coalition serves as a collaborative effort or partnership whose function is to facilitate partners’ work and act as a catalyst for injury prevention initiatives. Its mission is to prevent injury, disability, and death through advocacy, education, legislation, and partnerships.