Preventing Nighttime Pedestrian Accidents in West Virginia
A recent pedestrian accident in Wheeling, WV left the walker in serious condition. According to WTOV9, the collision happened near T.J.'s Sports Garden restaurant along National Road on a Monday. The pedestrian was an out-of-town visitor who required surgery due to crash injuries and who was admitted to intensive care following the collision. The crash happened at around 9:30 PM. The road was shut down for two hours following the incident and an investigation was still underway into how the crash happened, although the driver of the vehicle had not yet been charged with any violations.
The late hour of the accident was likely a contributing factor to causing the crash. The risk of pedestrian accidents is greater at nighttime, with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warning motorists and walkers that pedestrian accidents are far more likely after dark.
Prevention of Nighttime Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents are more likely to happen when it is dark outside because drivers may not expect to see pedestrians walking on the roads and because visibility is impacted by the darkness. Walkers won't be spotted by drivers until the driver is much closer to the pedestrian, so the driver may be unable to stop on time to avoid hitting the person who is walking.
Both pedestrians and drivers can take some steps to try to reduce the chances of injury at nighttime. Pedestrians, for example, can do their best to try to stay off busy roads after dark. The CDC warns pedestrian crashes happen more often in urban areas than rural areas. When the roads are more crowded, there is a greater chance of injury. If pedestrians stay on sidewalks and cross only at designated areas after dark, there is a reduced chance they will end up in an accident because the driver did not see them.
Pedestrians also need to make certain they are wearing brightly colored clothing, including reflective clothing when possible. Dressing in a bright outfit and using reflective gear can help drivers to see pedestrians after dark. Carrying a flashlight is advisable as well.
While pedestrians can and should try to protect themselves, drivers also have to be responsible and avoid engaging in high-risk behaviors which increase the likelihood of nighttime pedestrian accidents. Drivers are advised to travel the speed limit, to look for pedestrians at all times, and to avoid using their phones or infotainment systems which could be distracting during night drives. Drowsy and drunk driving are also concerns, and drivers need to make sure they stay sober and they pull over to take a rest if they have become too tired to be alert and watch for pedestrians after dark.
If pedestrians and drivers all make an extra effort to be safe during the evening hours, hopefully fewer people will be hurt as the pedestrian recently was in the nighttime crash.