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The Lion's Tale

The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

This will be the fourth debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.
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The Lion's TaleJune 2, 2024

In the midst of all of the protests seen on various college campuses across the country, it seems as though the Israel-Hamas war has become even...

Proceed With Caution: Drivers and pedestrians must be more aware of their surroundings

Statistics+show+that+in+recent+years+rates+of+pedestrian+fatalities+have+risen+exponentially.+
Maiya Blumenthal
Statistics show that in recent years rates of pedestrian fatalities have risen exponentially.

As I biked around my neighborhood one day after fifth grade and crossed a street only a few blocks from my house, a car hit me. Later, my dad took me to the Emergency Room, where I received 11 stitches for the cut in my chin.

My friends and family were shocked and surprised that I had been hit by a car, but statistically it’s not surprising at all. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, every eight minutes a pedestrian in the United States is injured due to a traffic accident. In order to avoid being victim to these frequent crashes, I encourage all drivers and pedestrians to be aware of their surroundings.

U.S. News and World Report states that the number of pedestrian deaths in the United States reached a 41 year high in 2023. The same report said that in 2022, over 7,500 pedestrians were killed on U.S. roadways. That means, in 2022, on average twenty pedestrians were killed every day just from traffic accidents. 

The statistics are equally grim locally. According to WTOP News, pedestrian fatalities in Washington, D.C. increased from 27 in 2019 to 37 in 2020 and to 40 in 2021. And a Montgomery County Council press release reports that there have been more than 30 pedestrian and cyclist fatalities and almost 950 injuries combined in 2022 and 2023. As these statistics rise everyone needs to take more precautions in order to stay safe as a pedestrian.

One step both Montgomery County and Washington, D.C. have taken to increase pedestrian safety is adopting the Vision Zero initiative.

Vision Zero is a program that includes new engineering, close work with communities to identify and solve past problems and a better operation of the existing roadway network. Since 2018 Montgomery County has built over 16 miles of new sidewalks, 14 miles of new bikeways and has refreshed 1,921 crosswalks. Montgomery County also added 35 new traffic signals and beacons to local roadways, and has reduced the speed limit on over 26 miles of highway. 

But there’s only so much the government can do. Individual drivers and pedestrians need to be part of the solution.

While driving, there are many ways to decrease the chances of a collision, and it’s every single person’s responsibility to be as careful and responsible as possible. For example, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is incredibly irresponsible. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, almost half of all fatal pedestrian crashes were due to alcohol use. 

As a pedestrian, it is also important to be careful when walking around your neighborhood, or anywhere else, especially at night. U.S. News and World Report estimates that in 2021 more than 77% of pedestrian fatalities happened after dark. Therefore, when walking at night avoid wearing dark colored clothing. It is also always important to stay alert of where you are and the cars around you. 

Two additional easy ways to maximize your safety as a pedestrian are always crossing at sidewalks and traffic signals, and never texting and walking at the same time, especially when crossing the street. 

As someone who has been involved in an accident, I can’t express enough how important it is to do everything possible to avoid getting into a crash. By yielding to pedestrians and being extra vigilant at night or even just by obeying the speed limit, you are creating a safer environment for drivers and pedestrians, and perhaps even saving lives.

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About the Contributors
Jordana Dauber
Jordana Dauber, Reporter
Maiya Blumenthal
Maiya Blumenthal, Opinion Editor
Maiya is so excited to continue her work on the Lion’s Tale this year as an opinion editor. She can’t wait to help people share their ideas with the community in this role. Outside of Lion’s Tale, Maiya plays basketball, tennis and piano, and participates in Friendship Circle and the CESJDS Debate Team. Maiya can’t wait to work with the rest of the Lion’s Tale staff to produce interesting and unique content this year.  

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