Pedestrian fatalities in Nebraska climb to highest level since 1991

A summary of pedestrian fatalities and injuries across the state shows that from 2000 to 2017, an average of 11 pedestrians died each year and 390 were injured on Nebraska roadways.

So far this year, 21 pedestrians have been killed on Nebraska roadways.

The Nebraska Department of Transportation Highway Safety Office reports that this is the most pedestrian fatalities since 1991 when 24 were tragically killed on Nebraska roadways.

AAA says pedestrians should consider wearing bright-colored clothing to increase their visibility, especially when walking at night. They should cross only at corners or designated areas. When crossing a street, always be on the lookout for vehicles approaching in all directions, including those turning right on a red light.

Both pedestrians and drivers should avoid distractions, such as using communication devices that take your mind and eyes off the roadway. Drivers and pedestrians should always avoid driving or walking while impaired, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, as it poses a danger to all roadway users.

Drivers stopped in front of a crosswalk at a red light should always look both ways after the light has changed to green. Don’t accelerate until the crosswalk is clear of pedestrian traffic. Sun glare can also pose a threat to pedestrians and drivers, especially just after sunrise and before sunset. This glare can make it much harder to see the road ahead, creating an added risk to drivers and pedestrians.

With fewer daylight hours, and many pedestrians out and about this time of year running holiday errands, AAA reminds motorists to expect pedestrians anywhere at any time and always yield to them.

In Nebraska, the highest pedestrian death toll occurred in 1966. That year, 51 pedestrians died in traffic crashes.