She was only 12 when she died hours after being struck by a sport utility vehicle as she and a friend crossed the street outside her school. The tragic death in March of a 12-year-old Albuquerque middle school student continues to highlight hazards faced by pedestrians throughout the country.
The above-mentioned accident occurred during daylight hours. The two girls sought to cross the street through the crosswalk along a two-lane road. A vehicle in the left lane stopped to let two girls go, however, the vehicle in the right lane didn’t see the girls and continued driving striking one of them.
Twenty-five pedestrians killed in Albuquerque in 2017
The streets of Albuquerque can be dangerous. According to the Albuquerque Police Department, 64 fatal car accidents occurred in the city in 2017. Pedestrians accounted for 25 of the fatalities or 39 percent. For the first three months of 2018, the city already has reported 10 pedestrian fatalities.
Other related statistics support the hazards that pedestrians face. in 2016, New Mexico had the highest pedestrian fatality rate of 3.45 deaths per 100,000 people, according to a recent report by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA).
Recent numbers, however, seem more promising. For the first six months of 2017, New Mexico’s pedestrian fatality rate dropped to 1.48 per 100,000. The state, though, still ranks second just behind Arizona with 1.61.
State saw 11 percent decline in pedestrian fatalities
The GHSA report also noted that:
- During a three-year period ending in 2016, New Mexico was one of five states in which 80 percent or more of the pedestrian fatalities occurred at night. The state ranked at the top with 84 percent.
- New Mexico, however, has seen progress in decreasing the number of pedestrian fatalities. According to the report, the 31 pedestrian deaths that occurred during the first six months of 2017 represented a more than 11 percent decline compared with the same period during the previous year.
Safety tips for pedestrians
Pedestrians need to be aware of all potential safety hazards that may surface while walking city and rural streets. Here are some tips to remember:
- Always look both ways before crossing the street.
- Use the crosswalk
- Follow all traffic signs and signals
- Wear light-colored clothing so drivers can see you.
- Don’t talk or text on your cellphone while walking.
- Ditch the earbuds, and avoid listening to music or podcasts while walking.
- Watch out for distracted drivers who may be texting, talking on the phone, eating food or talking with a passenger.
Walking is good exercise and the simplest means of transportation. Please remember to stay alert to any potential dangers and always stay safe.