| In 2003, the number of pedestrians injured by traffic accidents was 85,592. Pedestrian deaths, on the other hand, totaled 2,332, accounting for nearly 30% of all deaths caused by traffic accidents. The ratio of those
killed among traffic accident casualties (fatality rate) was 2.7% for pedestrians, more than four times the
rate among all traffic accident casualties. Pedestrians, therefore, are often considered "the most vulnerable" among road traffic.
In this study, ITARDA's comprehensive database on traffic accidents is analyzed to find out,
among people who met traffic accidents, under what circumstances seniors and children suffered accidents,
and the key points that pedestrians and drivers should know are summarized.
|From this study, it can be concluded as follows.
1. Accidents occur most often among seniors while shopping or going to visit someone in the morning or in
the late afternoon; among grade school and junior high school students on the way to and from school (in the morning in particular); and while playing among grade school students and children below school age.
--> rivers should pay full attention to dangers in the morning, when both children and drivers are distracted
by the busy day ahead, and when bright morning sun could make it difficult to spot pedestrians.
Late afternoon twilight is another problematic time of the day when drivers have difficulty in seeing
pedestrians and should take extra care toward young and aged pedestrians. It is dangerous for pedestrians
to assume that drivers are aware of their presence. Pedestrians should protect themselves, when going out
in the late afternoon and evening, by wearing clothes of highly visible colors, and by choosing shoes and
coats with reflective material.
2. Children tend to meet accidents at narrow municipal roads without crosswalks. Running out into the road suddenly is the
most likely cause.
---> Drivers must be aware that children may start crossing the road suddenly at any time. Upon seeing children, one must drive slowly and be prepared to stop at any moment, until safety is ensured. Parents and guardians must ensure that young children do not run out, by holding their hands or carrying them.When
allowing children to walk, let them walk on the side away from the traffic. Adults other than parents and guardians must also warn children upon spotting them trying to cross a street without a crosswalk. Until
children become old enough to go out on their own, and even afterwards, they should be taught repeatedly at home and school how to cross the street safely. Specifically, they should be told to stop before crossing and
pay full attention to the traffic with their eyes and ears.
3. Seniors are more likely to meet accidents while crossing major roads compared with other age groups.
Aged pedestrians are prone to death by traffic accidents primarily because cars drive fast on such major
They get involved in accidents apparently because they are often unable to grasp the circumstances of approaching cars, lack knowledge on the characteristic movement of cars, and are not fully aware of the
decline in their body.
---> It is not difficult for most people to pay attention to the movement of cars on both the right and left
when crossing the street, but it becomes progressively more difficult as one gets older. Safety education
must therefore be improved taking this factor into consideration. Safety facilities and road structures should
also be improved to alleviate the physical and psychological burden on pedestrians.
Institute for Traffic Accident Research and Data Analysis (ITARDA)