The long, lazy days of summer seem all but made for relaxing strolls or running short errands on foot rather than via cars or trucks. As much as you may enjoy getting out on foot and you know that walking is beneficial for your health, you should remain ever-aware of the risks that pedestrians face in West Virginia. These risks, it should be pointed out, exist not just in the summer but all year round as even walking through a parking lot puts you in the position of being a pedestrian surrounded by vehicles that may hit you.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration‘s records for the five years running from 2010 to 2014 show that a total of 12 pedestrians were killed in Cabell County. Those 12 deaths actually occurred over only four of the years, with no such fatalities being experienced in Cabell County in 2011.
Statewide, there was no year in which pedestrians were completely safe from fatal automobile accidents. 2010 was the year with the fewest number of pedestrian deaths with 13 people on foot losing their lives. That number grew to 20 and then to 31 in the subsequent two years. After 2012, fatalities among people on foot in West Virginia have declined slightly to 28 in 2012 and then 19 in 2014. Data for 2015 was not yet available.
Pedestrians are highly vulnerable to serious or even deadly injuries when struck by motor vehicles. Walking on sidewalks, paths or crosswalks where possible or against the flow of traffic if no path or sidewalk is available are some ways that people can try to improve their safety when walking.