May, the most dangerous month for KC walkers

pedestrian-chartBy Joe Lambe

With May at hand and summer near, Kansas City pedestrians might want to play odds and watch closely for vehicles.

May has the greatest number of pedestrian accidents of any month. From it through September, walkers have the greatest chance of getting hit.

That information comes from a recent 49-page report by the Mid-America Regional Council related to 13 counties in the metropolitan area.

Pedestrian accidents are examined from 2008 to 1012. They are the only area in MARC’s overall accident reports showing increases in fatalities and serious physical injuries compared to previous five-year averages.

Most pedestrian incidents occurred along busy roads with high population and job densities. Most were in the late afternoon in daylight on clear days.

And the most common cause of fatalities – inattention/ distraction and failure to yield  – are things that can range from cell phone use to daydreaming to just not looking ahead.

Males were more likely to get hit than females, 60 percent to 40 percent. The most common age group of those hit is 20-24, with the number of those hit decreasing steadily after people reach age 34.

The report includes a wide range of suggestions to deal with the problem that range from engineering changes to education.

As more and more people walk and avoid owning cars nationwide, such issues are critical, says Jeff Speck in his book “Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America One Step at a Time.”

He writes: “The pedestrian is an extremely fragile species, the canary in the coal mine of urban livability. Under the right conditions, this creature thrives and multiplies.”

The MARC report

One Comment

  1. kia says:

    It would be really helpful if drivers would remember that it is the law to yield to a pedestrian who is in or about to enter a crosswalk.

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