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Preventing Nighttime Pedestrian Accidents in Louisville

A pedestrian was struck and killed recently in a late-night accident in Louisville, KY. WLKY reported that the incident occurred on a Thursday morning at around 12:15 AM at Main Street and Clay Street in the downtown Louisville area. Police were called to the scene of the collision and found a man lying in the road who had been run over by a Toyota Camry. car-3-1176180

The driver of the Toyota stayed at the scene of the accident and spoke to police. The victim was taken to University Hospital where he was subsequently pronounced dead later in the evening. Police indicated they were conducting an investigation into how the incident happened. No charges were expected to be brought.

Unfortunately, this fatal accident is one of many deadly pedestrian accidents which will occur in Kentucky over the course of the year. Many pedestrians fatalities happen in the nighttime hours, and drivers and walkers both need to be aware of the added risk when out after dark.

Risks of Louisville Pedestrian Accidents After Dark

Louisville has a high rate of pedestrian accident fatalities, with Courier Journal calling Louisville streets a "pedestrian danger zone."  Accidents can occur any time when walkers or drivers fail to obey the rules of the road or exercise reasonable care. Nighttime, however, can be especially dangerous because:

  • Drivers are more likely to be drowsy. A fatigued driver has a delayed reaction time and exhibits behavior similar to being drunk. A drowsy driver could also fall asleep behind the wheel. For all of these reasons, tired drivers are more likely to hit pedestrians.
  • Drivers and pedestrians are both more likely to be drunk. Drunk driving and drunk walking are high-risk behaviors which significantly increase collision risks.
  • Drivers may not be expecting pedestrians to be out at night. Motorists in cars should be aware of pedestrians out after dark, especially in area with lots of bars and restaurants. Walkers should also take extra care to only cross at crosswalks during the nighttime so they do not surprise a driver on the road.
  • Visibility is reduced at night. It is harder for drivers to see pedestrians when it is darker outside. Drivers should be vigilant in watching the road in areas where pedestrians are most likely to be late at night. Pedestrians should also try to stay off of roads after dark. If a pedestrian does need to walk somewhere at night time, wearing bright or reflective clothing and carrying a flashlight is advisable.

While there will always be added dangers at nighttime, if drivers and walkers take extra steps to be safe and to avoid pedestrian accidents, the risk can be mitigated. It is every motorist and walker's responsibility to understand and respond to the dangers on Louisville roads.

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