Pedestrian deaths appear down from 2017's record high

Apr 5, 2018

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  The group Walk Bike Nashville says four people have been killed on the city’s highways so far in 2018.

Credit walkbikenashville.org

If pedestrian deaths continue at that pace, it would represent a significant decrease in fatalities from 2017 The organization says 23 pedestrians were struck and killed on Nashville streets last year, the highest number in recent history.

Walk Bike Nashville’s Nora Kern notes that an even larger number of people were struck but survived. Some suffered life-changing injuries, but she says those incidents are harder to track.

“Unfortunately sometimes the numbers for injuries can be a little inaccurate, because not everyone who is hit by a car will always report it.”

Walk Bike Nashville also tracks the location of pedestrian fatalities and says most deaths occur along Metro’s primary thoroughfares.

“Gallatin, Murfreesboro and Nolensville, and all of those are high transit use corridors that have either little to no sidewalks and very infrequent cross walks for people who are out there trying to cross the street.”

Kern says pedestrians should use crosswalks where available and obey traffic signals. She also suggests pedestrians make eye contact with drivers before stepping into the street. Of course, drivers and pedestrians alike need to put down those cell phones.

“Be especially careful at night. We see the majority of crashes happening after hours when it’s dark. So if you’re out driving at night go ahead and slow down five or ten miles an hour. Just be careful.”

Walk Bike Nashville is supporting Metro’s proposed $5.4 billion transit plan, with the hope that pedestrian safety will be improved by the project.