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How often are pedestrians killed by vehicles in Kentucky, what can we do about it?

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Posted at 5:30 PM, Jun 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-15 19:14:32-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — A pedestrian was killed when they were hit by a driver on New Circle Road early Tuesday morning.

It's the most recent fatal pedestrian crash in Lexington, and LEX 18 took a deeper dive to learn how often this happens and why.

According to Lexington Police, there were four fatal collisions involving pedestrians in 2019. Three of those were on New Circle Road.

The data shows that this is a 73% decrease from 2018 when there were 15 fatal collisions involving pedestrians.

There are several factors of these fatal crashes. A chart in their 2019 reports shows that 13 percent of crashes happened with pedestrians walking with the signal, meaning they had the right of way. 11 percent happened when pedestrians were walking in the roadway. In 9 percent of cases, the pedestrian hit was wearing dark-colored clothing and another 9 percent were hit when they were in a crosswalk.

Statewide, Kentucky State Police data shows that about 12 percent of fatal collisions involved a pedestrian.

KSP also looked at the common factors for pedestrian collisions. According to the data, most fatal crashes happened when a pedestrian was walking in a roadway or wearing dark clothing/ not visible.

So how do we get these numbers down?

B-safe Driving School owner, Brian Fannon, said it's all about being aware of your surroundings.

"Any time you're in motion you have to be in a constant scanning mode," Fannon said. "For things as small as kittens, little pets. So if you're keying in on small things you're going to see the bicycles and you're going to see the motorcycles, cars, and trucks, etc."

He also said any living thing, whether an animal or person, always has the right of way.

"Cars are replaceable, yea?" he asked hypothetically. "That's what insurance is for. But life isn't replaceable."

Fannon also suggests that pedestrians wear bright clothing, especially as the sun goes down and visibility decreases. He also said both drivers and pedestrians should eliminate distractions like cell phones.