Over 6,000 pedestrian fatalities

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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2019, 6,205 pedestrians were killed and an estimated 76,000 pedestrians were injured nationwide.

Everyone is at some point a pedestrian and according to those numbers that means a person was killed every 85 minutes in traffic crashes in 2019.

According to information obtained from the Suffolk County Police Department, the number of fatal pedestrian crashes in villages of the South Shore, including Bay Shore, Sayville and Patchogue, has been increasing from 2019 to 2021:

Bay Shore had zero fatalities in 2019, three in 2020 and four in 2021.

East Patchogue had a total of 1 for 2019 and 2020.

North Bay Shore had a total of 1 for all three years.

Patchogue had 1 in 2019, zero in 2020 and three in 2021.

Sayville had zero in 2019 and 2020 and two in 2021.

A total of three and four pedestrian deaths were calculated in those areas for 2019 and 2020, respectively. Whereas a total of 11 were reported, last year, in 2021.

NHTSA provides these tips to keep pedestrians safe:

Tips for drivers:

• Look out for pedestrians everywhere, at all times.

• Use extra caution when driving in hard-to-see conditions, such as nighttime or bad weather.

• Slow down and be prepared to stop when turning or otherwise entering a crosswalk.

• Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and stop well back from the crosswalk to give other vehicles an opportunity to see the crossing pedestrians so they can stop too.

• Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. There may be people crossing where you can’t see.

• Never drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

• Follow the speed limit, especially around people on the street, in school zones and in neighborhoods where children are present.

• Be extra cautious when backing up and look for pedestrians.

Tips for walkers:

• Follow the rules of the road and obey signs and signals.

• Walk on sidewalks whenever they are available.

• If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible.

• Cross streets at crosswalks or intersections. Look for cars in all directions, including those turning left or right.

• If a crosswalk or intersection is not available, locate a well-lit area where you have the best view of traffic. Wait for a gap in traffic that allows enough time to cross safely; continue watching for traffic as you cross.

• Watch for cars entering or exiting driveways, or backing up in parking lots.

• Avoid alcohol and drugs when walking; they impair your abilities and your judgment.

• Embrace walking as a healthy form of transportation - get up, get out and get moving.

Want to improve the walkability of your neighborhood? The administration also provides this walkability: https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/walkingchecklist.pdf.

A great program!

We commend the Village of Patchogue for their responsibility in helping protect their pedestrians. It’s great to see local government, community groups, businesses and the police department working together for one common goal. We wish the safety vest program lots of success.

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