MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The number of pedestrian fatalities in Memphis is causing concern as police are busy investigating a rash of crashes, including one early Wednesday morning in the airport area.
A makeshift memorial stands at the corner of Summer and White Station after another pedestrian was killed Sunday in a hit-and-run crash. Police are looking for the vehicle involved in the crash and its driver.
According to police, there have been 35 pedestrian fatalities so far in 2023 compared to 50 at this same time in 2022.
The high number of pedestrian fatalities has put Memphis at the top of KURU Footwear’s Most Dangerous U.S. Cities for Pedestrians in 2023. Nashville came in second.
“It’s cause Memphis has a extremely high pedestrian fatality rate compared to most other major Metro cities. It’s 9.7 pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people,” said Victoria Schmid with KURU Footwear.
While the City of Memphis has launched a safety and awareness campaign to combat pedestrian fatalities, Schmid says it’s a two way street.
“I think it can come down to both the pedestrian and drivers, and it’s up to all of us to make sure the roads are safe,” she said.
She says drivers should always be on the look out and yield to pedestrians, but there are things pedestrians should do as well. Staying on the sidewalk, looking both ways before crossing a street, and avoid wearing air pods of looking at your phone can help keep you safe.
Memphis resident Brandon Jackson is now thinking twice wearing headphones when he’s out exercising.
“Yes, so noise canceling head phones are probably a no-no. Definitely want to take better caution. Because I run so much, I guess I’m a little bit more aware than maybe some others may be, but this probably is a no-no,” Jackson said.
According to the City of Memphis, in 2022, the most pedestrian fatalities occurred during the hours after dark with almost 70% of all pedestrian fatalities occurring between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m.