“In 2019, there were 6,205 pedestrians killed in traffic crashes in the United States. That is 17 pedestrians a day and 119 pedestrians a week. On average, a pedestrian was killed every 85 minutes and injured every 7 minutes in traffic crashes” said Kevi Berger, Safe Kids Missoula Coordinator. “There are many ways that we can keep ourselves and others safe and bring those numbers down – one way is to practice safe walking habits and secondly to avoid distracted driving.”
Steve Schmidt of Drive Safe Missoula added, “In 2019, an estimated 2,740,0000 people were injured in police-reported traffic crashes. Of those crashes, 294,000 drivers were reported as distracted at the time of crash. We can do better – we can avoid driving under the influence of technology (DUIT) and free of distractions.” Montana ended 2021 with 18 pedestrian fatalities and as of April 12, 2022, there have been 6 pedestrian fatalities so far this year.
Safe Kids and Drive Safe Missoula offers the following tips for walking and driving safely:
Teach kids to look left, right, and left again before crossing the street. Then remind them to continue looking until safely across.
Teach kids to put phones, headphones, and devices down when crossing the street. It is particularly important to reinforce this message with teenagers.
It is always best to walk on sidewalks or paths and cross at street corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
Children under 10 need to cross the street with an adult. Every child is different, but developmentally, most kids are unable to judge the speed and distance of oncoming cars until age 10.
Be a good role model. Set a good example by putting your phone, headphones, and devices down when walking around cars.
Avoid distracted driving. Distracted driving is any activity that redirects a driver's attention away from driving. This could be phone usage, eating, drinking, talking to other occupants of the vehicle, or even petting your dog.
Avoid using technology while driving. One of the largest influences on Distracted Driving is Technology. Although it is often referred to as "Texting and Driving," the influence of technology goes far beyond just texting. Driving Under the Influence Technology (DUI-T) comes in many forms such as texting and driving, searching for a song, looking at the map on the phone or in-dash, watching a video, sending a message or photo, etc.
If you are tired, pull off the road.
Limit the number of passengers in your vehicle as well as the noise level.
Always buckle up, both yourself and your passengers.
For more information call Safe Kids Missoula at (406) 926-2522. You can also call Drive Safe Missoula at (406) 258-3880.