America Walks is a nonprofit dedicated to those who enjoy walking around this great country of ours! Whether it's a simple walk down the local sidewalks or a memorable walk across the nation to see all it's wonders, America Walks provides a voice for all walking communities.
Recently, we had the opportunity to speak with Heidi Simon, Communications and Public Affairs Manager, about how people can keep safe when walking. Ms. Simon recommend that people not use the term accident because many traffic fatalities are the result of actions that can be prevented and are therefore not accidents but rather are crashes. So at her request we have substituted the word crash for accident.
Q: Can you tell us something about your organization and what you do to promote crash prevention?
A: The mission of America Walks is to encourage walking and expand walkable communities for every individual. We do this by engaging and empowering local advocates, developing a national walking movement, and prioritizing the benefits of walkable communities for policymakers and change agents. Our work helps to make sure that people are prioritized in community design and that steps are taken to create safe, livable communities.
Q: What are the three most common causes of crashes as it relates to your demographic?
A: Distracted driving is a major concern when it comes to preventing crashes from happening. Smart, people-prioritized street design helps to create environments where crashes are less likely to occur. Also, education for drivers that increases awareness and makes them responsible members of the transportation environment.
Q: What are the three best ways that people can prevent these types of crashes?
A: Drivers can prevent crashes by making sure they are not engaging in distracted driving behavior. Community members can advocate for better street design and a built environment that encourages safe physical activity. We all need to prioritize people over cars.
Q: What’s the most surprising statistic or fact that your organization would like the public to know?
A: There are 127 million walking trips in the US each day. Each one deserves to be a safe walk.
Q: What is the most important piece of information your organization can share with our readers?
A: We have resources for people from all sectors and backgrounds in our Learning Center to explore to become effective walking advocates. http://americawalks.org/learning-center/
Q: What’s the best piece of advice that you can share to help prevent a crash?
A: Crashes can be prevented through smart street design, responsible driving and education/enforcement.
Hastings, Cohan, & Walsh, LLP is committed to providing useful information regarding safety issues and accident prevention. If you have any suggestions about future specific safety issues you would like to hear more about please contact us.