State Police urge motorists to use caution near crash scenes

Staff Report

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois State Police are warning motorists to be vigilant in observing stranded vehicles and pedestrians near crash scenes to avoid unnecessary fatal accidents.

Pedestrians make up more than 13 percent of car crash deaths. Pedestrians on the roadway pose an even greater risk to themselves and oncoming traffic.

Motorists and pedestrians are both responsible for traffic safety, and motorists should always be prepared to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians.

In 2011, 4,978 pedestrians were involved in crashes. Three out of four interstate pedestrian fatalities occur after dark. In many cases, drivers do not see the pedestrian until the pedestrian is in front of the vehicle, with no time to react or apply the brakes. Most of the pedestrian-related crashes involve a pedestrian running in front of a vehicle, crossing the expressway, crossing the expressway while intoxicated and not wearing safety reflective clothing.

Pedestrians should always use the following safety precautions:

• Walk on the outside edge of the road (passenger’s side) as far away from the roadway;

• In two-way traffic, pedestrians should walk facing oncoming traffic;

• If walking at night, increase visibility by carrying a flashlight or wearing a reflective clothing; and

• If your vehicle is stalled, attempt to call for assistance prior to walking on the interstate.

Motorists can help prevent pedestrian-related crashes by reducing speed, moving to an alternate lane and being aware of their surroundings.

Behaviors cause about half of all pedestrian-vehicle incidents. Drivers must always remain alert and remember that stranded motorists and pedestrians may be on the roads.

From the Dec. 12-18, 2012, issue

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