An Ohio man was struck while crossing the road near Belterra Casino Resort in Florence, Ind. on New Year’s Eve. Robert V. Loughry was walking with three other people to an overflow parking lot across from the casino. He and his companions crossed State Road 156 to reach the lot. He was struck by a car and died at the scene.
A woman from Warsaw, Ky. was driving the car. The authorities are still waiting on toxicology reports for the driver.
Pedestrian fatalities increasing
While other types of traffic deaths are decreasing, pedestrian deaths are increasing. The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) reported from 2007 to 2016, pedestrian fatalities increased by 27 percent. Other traffic-related fatalities dropped by 14 percent. They estimate about 5,984, U.S. pedestrian deaths in 2017, which remained almost the same as 2016.
Indiana ranks 12
Indiana has the 12th highest fatality rate in the country, with about 63 pedestrian deaths occurring between January and June 2017.
Multiple factors likely contribute to increase
The GHSA contributes increase to several factors. The group suggests the marijuana decriminalization may play a role, as well as the increased use of smartphones. Marijuana use impairs a driver’s judgement, while using a phone while driving is a significant distraction. The GHSA also notes walking is an increasingly popular form of transportation. From 2007 to 2016, about 4 percent more Americans report walking to work.
Pedestrian safety tips
Ohio pedestrians can do a few things to keep themselves safe. Here are a few pedestrian safety tips:
- Obey road signs and lights.
- Use sidewalks whenever available.
- Avoid using your phone, and stay alert to traffic at all times.
- Do not assume a driver sees you. You should try to make eye contact.
- Watch for cars backing up down driveways or in parking lots.
- Cross at crosswalks and intersections, and look for cars in all directions.
If you are hit while walking, get checked out by a doctor. Some injuries may not be immediately noticeable, but could become serious, if left untreated. You should also get the insurance information of the person that hit you, in case your injuries do require hospitalization and treatment. You deserve compensation for your injuries sustained at the hands of another driver.