More dangerous than other countries

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According to a study by Virginia Tech Professor Ralph Buehler, Americans walk less than their international counterparts because of perceived danger and less favorable conditions.

He and his team have been analyzing walking speeds, pedestrian safety, and government policies in multiple developed nations and cities for over a decade.

Their findings suggest that, compared to other countries, Americans walk less and have a higher death rate per kilometer walked.

For example, Americans walk less than half as many daily as Brits, but are six times more likely to be killed walking per mile walked.

This pattern remains consistent when compared to other European countries including Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands.

All 11 countries surveyed from 1990 to 2020 saw a decrease in pedestrian fatalities per capita during that period, but the decrease was significantly smaller in the United States

While other countries improved pedestrian safety from 2010 to 2020, the US was the only country to see a 25% increase in pedestrian-related fatalities.

Steps to Improve

The researchers propose several steps to make walking safer and more attractive:

Better Themes: Incorporate pedestrian-friendly features such as networks of clearly marked, well-lit sidewalks and crosswalks, and safety islands in intersection corners and medians. It is also recommended to reconsider the road layout and speed planning.

Better Land Use: Revising zoning laws and regulations to create more pedestrian-friendly communities, including the creation of more mixed-use spaces.

Better driving habits: Lowering speed limits, tightening laws on drunk driving and distraction, and revising laws to make drivers more responsible.

Better Transport Education: Introducing more proactive youth education programs about walking and driving could increase the overall safety of both activities.

Buehler urges community members to speak with their local politicians and city engineers about any dangerous situations or infrastructure deficiencies they encounter while walking.

This grassroots engagement could go a long way in making communities safer for pedestrians.

If you care about health, please read studies about it How eating eggs can help reduce the risk of heart diseaseand why beetroot juice can greatly increase muscle strength during exercise.

Further information on the subject of health can be found in current studies How espresso coffee affects your cholesterol levelsand results are displayed Vitamin D could help lower the risk of autoimmune diseases.

The study was published in sustainability.

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