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Ohio pedestrian fatalities up 61% in 5 years

More Ohio pedestrians are being killed now than ever on state roadways, statistics show.

There were 88 pedestrian fatalities in Ohio in 2013, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol. In 2017 – the last year for which complete statistics are available – 145 pedestrians were killed. That’s a new record, state officials say.

Possible causes

In an expose, officials cite possible reasons for the increase including more people who text while walking, the problem of distracted driving, and the increased use of SUVs which have higher front ends that are more likely to kill pedestrians when they hit them.

City planners and elected officials also credit the increase to urban design that favors cars to walkers.

The cure is to slow drivers down, experts say. More four-way stops will help, as will pedestrian-friendly curb-outs. Better traffic enforcement for not only speeders but distracted drivers will make a difference too, they say.

Pedestrian safety tips

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers these tips for pedestrian safety:

  • Be predictable – obey signs and signals
  • Walk on sidewalks where available
  • If there’s no sidewalk, walk facing traffic
  • Don’t take your eyes and ears off the road to read texts or look at your phone
  • When you cross the street, do so at a marked crosswalk and look for cars in all directions
  • If a crosswalk is not available, cross in a well-lit area
  • Never assume a driver sees you – watch for cars backing out of driveways and parking stalls

If you or a loved one is involved in an accident in an area that is not pedestrian-friendly, contact a qualified, experienced attorney to make sure your rights are protected.

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