Walking Wise

By Dan Dennison

HONOLULU (KHNL) - 10 people have died in pedestrian versus car collisions on Oahu so far this year.  This has resulted in additional attention from the Honolulu Police Department as well as the media as they attempt to bring more awareness to people about pedestrian safety and both driver and pedestrian responsibilities.

While Oahu is seeing a spike in the number of pedestrian accidents, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) actually reports a 16% decrease in the number of pedestrians killed in the last 10 year period for which statistics are available.  In 2001, 4,882 people were killed nationwide, compared to 5,801 in 1991.  On average, a pedestrian is killed in a traffic crash every 108 minutes.  The NHTSA's National Center for Statistics and Analysis also reporters that 78,000 pedestrians were injured in traffic crashes in 2001 or one every 7 minutes.  It reports most accidents happen in urban areas (69%), at non-intersection locations (79%), in normal weather conditions (90%), and at night (64%).

Even 6 years ago Hawaii had the second highest rate of pedestrian fatalities in the country.  21.4% of the state's total traffic fatalities were pedestrians.  Only New York state had a higher rate in 2001 of 22.4%.

The NHTSA's website has a lot of information for children, adults and older people about what to wear walking, tips for crossing streets and where to walk in the absence of a sidewalk.  You can see this material at