TULSA, Okla. — In 2019, there were close to 100 vehicles vs. pedestrian crashes on Oklahoma highways, but more than five times as many on city streets, a total of 546, according to the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office.
“These crashes are not accidents, and we don't say that word here because we believe that all these crashes are preventable,” said Cody McDonell, spokesperson for the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office.
McDonell's agency tracks and analyses crash data.
“’Between 2015 and 2019, 83 pedestrians were killed in Tulsa County. More than half of the drivers involved in those crashes were not at fault," McDonell said.
Many factors contribute to crashes involving pedestrians and vehicles, according to McDonell.
“In 2019 in Tulsa County, Tuesdays and Fridays were the biggest days for fatality or injury pedestrian crashes," he said. “The biggest months were October and November, and the hours were between 5 and 9 p.m.”
The setting sun may play a role in the late afternoon and even crashes. Alcohol and drug impairment also play a role in some crashes involving pedestrians and vehicles. The analysis of crash data shows the number one reason is the pedestrian's family using crosswalks at intersections.
"Not every intersection has a marked crosswalk,” McDonell said. “But what we're seeing is a lot of those crashes are happening outside of the intersection altogether, and you know, it depends on where the crash happened, but a lot of times the intersections themselves are well lit, but the area around them may not necessarily be."
The Highway Safety Office also looked at the ages and gender of those hurt or killed. It found slight spikes among people between 25 and 29 as well as between 55 and 59. McDonell said the crashes more often involved men.
“Sixty-five percent in 2019 of pedestrians involved in a crash were male," he said.
McDonell added it is easy to avoid becoming one of the crash statistics.
Pedestrians should always look both ways before crossing a street or highway and cross at an intersection whenever possible.
Drivers also need to be cautious and look out for pedestrians to give themselves time to slow down and react if a pedestrian enters the road.
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