In the state of Kentucky, there were a total of 1,051 collisions with pedestrians in 2011. The Kentucky State police statistics report that 52 people were killed in pedestrian collisions. These fatalities represented 7.21 percent of total traffic accident deaths in the state. 1422766_pedestrian_zone_sign

Our Louisville pedestrian accident lawyers know that fatal pedestrian crashes almost always result in the death of the pedestrian, as opposed to the individuals in the passenger car. Our attorneys also know that many of these crashes are preventable if drivers and pedestrians are careful and obey safety rules and regulations.

Unfortunately, the number of pedestrian accidents has been on the rise nationwide and the CDC reports that one pedestrian is killed every two hours and injured every eight minutes on average. The Department of Transportation is taking steps to combat the rise in pedestrian deaths and to make the roads safer for pedestrians. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced this August that the DOT had launched a new initiative.

New DOT Efforts to Combat Rising Pedestrian Deaths

As the NHTSA reports, the number of pedestrian accidents rose eight percent from 2009 to 2011, resulting in a total of 4,432 pedestrian deaths nationwide in 2011. This rising death rate is a concern for everyone because, as U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said, “Everyone is a pedestrian,” regardless of where you live or how you get around.

Since every person has to walk at least sometimes, pedestrian safety is a concern for everyone and all citizens need to do their part to keep the roads safe. Of course, local leaders also need to help improve conditions for pedestrians by supporting infrastructure improvements, increased public education and enforcement of safety rules.

Fortunately, the DOT’s new initiative targets everyone: city planners, local leaders, parents and pedestrians. The program includes a one-shop website called Everyone is a Pedestrian that has different sections to provide informative material to all of these groups.

Pedestrians can read safe walking tips, for example, while city planners can find educational materials to use at public service events.

The DOT is doing more than just making a website; it is also making money available to states where the pedestrian accident rate is higher than the national average. More than $2 million in grant money has been made available to hand out to states for education and enforcement initiatives, and states have until August 30 to submit an application and get their share of these federal funds.

The money made available to the states through these grants is just a small percentage of the expenditures the government has made in recent years to trying to help pedestrians to stay safe.  The Federal Highway Administration has committed more than $3.8 billion toward the completion of more than 11,000 projects to make the roads safer for both pedestrians and bicycle riders. Hopefully, these efforts and the DOT’s new initiative can make a real difference in bringing the pedestrian death rate down.

If you or a loved one was injured in a pedestrian accident, call Shelton Law Group today at 888-761-7204 for a free consultation with a Louisville attorney.