In most cases, pedestrians know that they should not be on interstates outside their vehicles. Unfortunately, there are times when people do need to be on the side of the road or to get out of their vehicles.
Police officers making a traffic stop, a person changing a blown tire or someone who had to pull over because they were feeling unwell all may end up outside their vehicles. It’s their responsibility to stay out of the roadway, just as it is other drivers’ responsibility to avoid hitting these individuals.
Between 2009 and 2018, pedestrian fatalities rose 53%. Many of those individuals were killed when they tried to cross freeways found in local urban areas. Their deaths were not in vain because they do draw attention to possible solutions and ways to prevent pedestrian accidents. Some may include:
- Designing overpasses and underpasses for pedestrian crossings
- Putting up physical barriers to prevent highway crossings by pedestrians
- Providing better lighting
In 18% of cases, pedestrians killed on freeways were there because of a disabled vehicle. A third of those individuals were intoxicated above the .08% limit. In under half of cases, 42%, the individuals were trying to cross the freeway when they were hit.
Between 2015 and 2017, 2,518 pedestrian fatalities occurred on freeways and interstates across the nation. Major factors in the deaths included that it was dark and that vehicles were traveling at high speeds.
Overall, the study does show that pedestrians are safer staying away from highways and freeways whenever possible. However, if you are there and doing something outside your vehicle, stay aware and know that there are hazards all around you.