More than 460 people in the United States will be treated in an emergency room for traffic-related pedestrian injuries in the next 24 hours.
In 2012, Tyler had 25 traffic accidents involving pedestrians. Of those 25, three were fatal and 20 involved minor to severe injuries.
There was an accident on Sept. 9 involving a TJC student who was struck and seriously injured by a vehicle in the faculty parking lot behind the Genecov Science Building.
Campus Police offered some advice for students who cross paths with cars often.
“You need to be paying attention to your surroundings and vehicles that may be sharing the same spaces in the parking lots or on the streets,” said Campus Police Chief, Randy Melton.
In 2010, there were 4,200 pedestrians killed in traffic accidents, and pedestrian deaths rose 3 percent in 2011, accounting for 14 percent of total traffic fatalities for that year reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to the City of Tyler, traffic counts of the three surrounding streets (Baxter, Devine, and Palmer) carry almost 13,000 cars per day. Baxter, the road where Vaughn Hall and Sledge Hall can be found, has a traffic flow of 3,500 cars per day. Devine is adjacent to the Louise Brookshire Community Tennis Complex and has a traffic flow of 3,070 cars per day. Palmer is adjacent to both the football field and the tennis courts and the traffic flow for that street is 6,240 cars per day.
In light of the recent accident, Campus Police wanted to stress awareness when it comes to walking around moving vehicles.
“Obviously, look both ways and pay attention to your surroundings and to motor vehicles, ” said Melton. “ That’s not a time to be texting or checking your email and looking down.”
Even if an accident appears minor, there are many other ways in which someone can be injured.
“Anytime the body is hit with a high-velocity object relative to a stationary (human) body, it can do internal damage,” said Dr. Stephanie Eijsink, head physician at the ETMC First Physicians Clinic on campus.
“The body is built to protect the internal organs to some degree. The lungs are protected by the ribs, and the rib cage and backbone protect the heart. Anything from the sternum down to the pubic bone is pretty open to damage from a high impact,” she said.
“Believe it or not, although we think we can multitask, the mind really is only able to focus well on one thing at a time,” Dr. Eijsink said. “So if you’re crossing the street, you should be paying attention to crossing the street, and if you’re distracted by music or by talking to someone or reading a book at the same time, then you’re not going to be able to really notice what’s coming at you.”