That early-spring air can be pretty enticing – but you may want to think twice about going for a stroll down the Cincinnati streets these days. Scofflaw drivers who race through residential and city streets alike are making life hazardous for folks on their feet.
In 2021, 305 pedestrians were injured by errant drivers in Cincinnati. Seven of those people died.
What’s leading to the rising risks for pedestrians?
City leaders say that speed is the primary problem. A radar study that they believe is representative of the issue clocked drivers heading down Hamilton Avenue – which is limited to 25 miles per hour – at anywhere between 55 to 100 mph, instead.
The faster a vehicle is going, the harder it is for a driver to respond to unexpected events, like a child stepping into a road, a passenger getting out of a car or a dog walker entering an intersection. The force of any impact between a vehicle and a pedestrian increases with the vehicle’s speed – and when cars and pedestrians collide, the pedestrian’s always going to lose.
It’s a vexing problem for the city’s leaders and its residents, and the solution isn’t yet on the horizon. If you’re walking anywhere, here are a few reminders around how to remain a little bit safer:
- Use sidewalks and crosswalks whenever possible, even if you have to go out of your way a bit
- Wear bright or light-colored clothing, or put reflective tape on your shoes, backpack or jacket so that you’re more visible to drivers
- Keep at least one ear free at all times to listen for traffic and keep your eyes off your cellular phone while you walk
- If you must walk where there are no sidewalks, make sure you walk facing traffic, so you and the drivers can better see each other.
Despite your best efforts, you may still end up the victim of reckless speeder. If that happens, make sure you pursue all the compensation you are due under the law.