NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Statistically, there are four months out of the year when pedestrian deaths surge in Nashville and the entire country.
According to Walk Bike Nashville, November, December, January and February are those peak months. But why?
Lindsey Ganson the Director of Advocacy and Communications for Walk Bike Nashville says that earlier sunsets along with other factors have a significant impact.
“We know that night is the most dangerous time for people out walking, for obvious reasons. It’s harder to see people. There are all kinds of visibility issues. But we also see this time of year when the time changes, an uptick in crashes related to glare too, because you see a lot of issues with glare as the sun is setting.”
A lack of infrastructure for pedestrians is also a key contributing factor. Ganson says, “If we have more infrastructure, if we had better lighting, if we had more crosswalks, if we had more sidewalks, we would not see this many pedestrians being killed every year.”
While reflective clothing and lights are recommended for pedestrians and bikers who are out after dark, Ganson says this is an unfair expectation for those who are just trying to get around, “Not everyone can bring reflective clothing everywhere they go.”
Instead, Ganson says that infrastructure improvements along with bringing awareness to drivers that follow the speed limit will help prevent pedestrian deaths.
There were a record number of pedestrian deaths in 2020, and unfortunately, this deadly trend looks to continue for 2021.
“We are expecting 2021, unfortunately, to be another record year for pedestrian deaths in Nashville. So since 2017, pedestrian deaths have been going up dramatically year over year,” says Ganson.