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Many people today have adopted walking as a primary form of exercise as it is well-known to offer many benefits to a person’s health and overall well-being. Unfortunately, what can be so good for a person in one manner may expose them to risks in other ways.

Sharing the road with cars, trucks and other vehicles puts pedestrians in harm’s way all too often, especially when drivers fail to pay sufficient attention to foot traffic.

Alabama’s pedestrian deaths increase

In 2010, Alabama recorded 61 pedestrian deaths statewide, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. These deaths accounted for 7% of the state’s total vehicular fatalities that year. In 2016, 120 people on foot died in crashes around the state, accounting for 11% of all fatalities.

The following year saw one fewer pedestrian death but, as total accident deaths declined even more, the 119 pedestrians who died that year represented 12.5% of all people killed in automobile accidents. In 2018, pedestrians represented 11.2% of all deaths, down slightly from 2017 but significantly greater than in 2010.

New safety technology fails to protect pedestrians

Many new vehicles today tout advanced technologies designed to prevent collisions. Vehicles equipped with pedestrian detection and automatic braking systems were evaluated in a study conducted by AAA. A report by The Verge indicates that these systems were deemed totally ineffective at night, when the majority of pedestrian fatalities occur.

In daylight conditions, pedestrian dummies were hit by test vehicles 60% of the time. These tests featured vehicles operating at 20 miles per hour and an adult pedestrian dummy passing in front of them.