In Louisville, many people are looking forward to the warm months of the summer when they can enjoy being outside. One activity enjoyed by many over the summer is walking for either recreation or to commute. While taking a walk can be a good way to get exercise and enjoy the beauty of the summer season, unfortunately it can be deadly in Louisville. This is because, as Courier-Journal reports: “Louisville is one of the top 10 deadliest cities for pedestrians.”
Drivers need to do their part to avoid car accidents with pedestrians, and walkers also need to be sure they are taking precautions to avoid injury or fatalities. With Louisville such a dangerous place for pedestrians, any steps aimed at improving road safety could make a big difference in saving lives.
Louisville Has a High Rate of Pedestrian Fatalities
Louisville has been one of the deadliest cities for pedestrian accidents for many years. In 2015, there were 453 pedestrians hit by cars in the city and 61 pedestrian were hit by cars during the first two months of 2016. This is an average of one pedestrian being hit by a car each day.
In 2015, there were also 18 pedestrians killed in Louisville while the first two months of 2016 saw four fatal accidents already. In 2014, there were 16 pedestrian deaths, one up from the 15 people killed in Louisville in 2013. There were also an additional 10 pedestrians killed in Louisville in 2012 and 17 killed in 2011.
Courier-Journal shared just one of many tragic stories of the personal and devastating impact of pedestrian accidents. A 24-year-old woman was walking to a crosswalk on her way to work. She waited for the signal before stepping onto Main Street. Tragically, the driver of a cement truck which was turning onto Main Street did not see her in the crosswalk. He struck and killed her, and the cement truck driver did not even realize he had hit her until another driver pulled in front of his vehicle.
Many other similar incidents happen each year, as Louisville has a pedestrian death rate well above the national average. Nationally, the average number of pedestrians killed is 1.53 per 100,000 people but in Louisville there are 2.45 people killed per 100,000 people.
Louisville ranked as the 10th worst location in the U.S. for the highest fatality rate per capita in the United States, even though its population is much smaller than other places. Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Washington D.C. were all safer cities for pedestrians than Louisville. Every part of town is affected by high death rates, despite the fact a $307,000 federal traffic safety grant was given to the city in 2014 with the aim of helping to make the city safer for people who want to walk.
Drivers and pedestrians need to be aware the risk is so high, and should take steps to try to stay safe including paying careful attention at all times when walking or driving.