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Airport Traffic Statistics & Pedestrian Safety Tips

Airport traffic statistics indicate that the skies right now are safer than they ever have been.  However, dropping off and picking up passengers is statistically not that safe, and a number of crashes and fatalities occur each year by vehicles driving near or around the airport terminal.   These areas are full of city buses, parking lot shuttles, taxis, and cars, most of which are double-parking to drop off or pick up passengers.  Drivers who are not used to the airport layout may feel confused and uncertain, and when combined with congestion, these issues can be dangerous for both drivers and pedestrians.

However, with the right signage in place, drivers will find it easier to navigate the traffic that is constantly moving in and out of the airport terminal and parking lots.  In addition, drivers at the airport are often mentally preoccupied, and they are not giving their driving the attention that it deserves.  To mitigate the effects of this preoccupation, it is important that airport employees and passengers follow certain pedestrian safety tips.

The most important pedestrian safety tips involve things that the planners of the pick-up and drop-off areas can address.  For instance, they should strive to ensure that drivers are aware of pedestrians.  In the area itself, planners can heighten drivers’ awareness by installing pedestrian crosswalk signs, especially illuminated ones.  On their websites, airports can also provide drivers with a list of pedestrian safety tips.

For instance, traffic safety signs can remind drivers of the importance of not parking permanently at the curbs.  Curbsides at airports should be restricted to picking up and dropping off passengers.  When cars stop for prolonged periods in these areas, it can make it difficult for emergency or safety vehicles to access the area if necessary.  For this reason and many others, federal law mandates that these drivers circle the area.  However, even circling is difficult for some drivers.  When drivers realize too late that they are in the wrong lane, they typically attempt risky maneuvers that can cause crashes.  To avoid these issues, airports must invest time and money into installing adequate signage to notify drivers which lane they need to be in.