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Kentucky Pedestrian Accidents Are Often Serious

A lawyer visiting Lexington for a cross-country running competition this month was killed when she was hit by a fire truck downtown, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports.

The lawyer worked for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in Washington, D.C, according to the news story. Kentucky police said the truck was not making an emergency trip at the time of the accident, and no sirens or warning lights were on.

Initial police records recorded the accident as a hit-and-run, but officials emphasized that it was an ongoing investigation. Officers were using high-tech scanners and cameras to gather evidence at the scene, the article said.

More than 1,000 pedestrian collisions occurred in Kentucky in 2011. Of that number, 52 people died and 163 suffered incapacitating injuries. An additional 362 people sustained non-incapacitating injuries and more than 400 had “possible injuries,” according to the state police’s annual report.

Pedestrian accidents frequently cause serious injuries and death. Pedestrians have no protection from impact the same way that other motorists do when accidents occur. It is unknown whether the attorney was in a crosswalk when she was hit, but it is critical to use crosswalks and to exercise extreme caution if you are a pedestrian. Although pedestrians typically have the right of way, not everybody will follow the traffic rules.

It is also important to eliminate distractions when you are walking down busy streets at any time, but particularly during this holiday season. People are distracted as they rush from work to go Christmas shopping, so limit your cellphone use while you are walking down the street.

Remember that this is also the season for holiday parties. Alcohol is consumed in greater quantities during the holidays, and that can increase the threat of drunken driving vehicle accidents. Contrary to popular belief, the drunk driver is not always fully responsible for pedestrian collisions involving alcohol. Transportation statistics show that many times, both the pedestrian and driver are under the influence of alcohol when a serious accident occurs.

Following the rules of the road can help ensure everyone in Kentucky enjoys a safe and happy holiday season. No one can complain about that.