A Sergeant First Class assigned to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, died in a pedestrian mishap 14 September 2020 at Naval Air Station-Key West, Florida, at 1515 local. The Soldier was supporting the unit with maintenance and supply accountability. Shortly after checking in to his hotel, he went to the Navy Exchange (NEX) on base. While outside the NEX, the Soldier was struck by a vehicle and killed. At approximately 1649, the unit received notification of the mishap and immediately reported it to Battalion Headquarters and the proper channels. The specific circumstances of the mishap are unknown at this time. An investigation has been initiated with no suspicion of foul play. The unit will continue to provide updates as they are released by NAS-KW and local law enforcement.
Since 2016, the Army has lost an average of eight Soldiers a year to pedestrian mishaps. This mishap is the fourth pedestrian fatality of FY20 and is below the number of similar fatalities during the same time period last year.
Make sure you’re visible to drivers at all times and make eye contact with them whenever possible. This is especially important at night, in low-light conditions such as dusk or dawn, or in inclement weather. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis, 32 percent of all pedestrian fatalities occur between 8 p.m. and 11:59 p.m.
-Wear lightly colored or reflective clothing at night and brightly colored clothing during the day.
-Stay in well-lit areas, especially when crossing the street.
-If possible, make eye contact with drivers in stopped vehicles to ensure they see you before you cross in front of them.
Stay Alert – Avoid Distractions
Distractions are everywhere today and becoming more and more difficult to avoid. Remember that, as a pedestrian, your eyes and ears are your best tools for keeping safe. Stay alert and watch out.
-Put down your phone. Smartphones and handheld electronic devices are a daily part of life, but they take your eyes off of the road and distract your attention.
-Don’t wear headphones. Your ears will tell you a lot about what is happening around you; be sure to use them.
Follow the Rules
-Know and follow all traffic rules, signs and signals. You need to be aware of the rules vehicles around you must follow to properly anticipate what drivers will do. This will help increase your safety.
-Never assume a driver will give you the right of way. Make every effort to make eye contact with the driver of a stopped or approaching vehicle before entering the roadway.
Walk in Safe Places
-Use crosswalks when crossing the street. If a crosswalk is unavailable, be sure to find the most well-lit spot on the road to cross and wait for a long enough gap in traffic to make it safely across the street.
-Stay on sidewalks whenever possible. If a sidewalk is not available, be sure to walk on the far side of the road facing traffic. This will help increase your visibility to drivers.
-Avoid walking along highways or other roadways where pedestrians are prohibited.
Avoid Alcohol Consumption
Almost half of all traffic crashes resulting in pedestrian casualties involve alcohol consumption. Surprisingly, 34 percent of that total was on the part of the pedestrian. Alcohol impairs your decision-making skills, physical reflexes and other abilities just as much on your feet as it does behind the wheel.