Walking and motorcycles are two deadly pursuits

Two ways to avoid becoming a traffic fatality or an injury statistic are to stay off motorcycles and to avoid walking on the highways.

Deaths of motorcyclists and pedestrians continue to be a high percentage of those killed on the nation’s roads.

In 2011 traffic deaths were 967, said the Cruz Roja. The statistics show that 110 of these were persons stuck by vehicles.

According to Cruz Roja 2011 statistics 6.13 persons are injured each day on the nation’s highways. The total last year was 2,236, according to the rescue agency.

Some 15 persons died that way and 31 suffered serious injuries in February. In all, 41 persons died in traffic accidents last month.

Most of the injuries and deaths happened in the province of San José. Those who drive country roads know that most do not have adequate shoulders for pedestrians and that walking is a primary means of transport.

At least two pedestrians died over the weekend.

Judicial agents in Pérez Zeledón said that a 38-year-old man with the last name of Alvarado died on the Interamericana highway at the entrance to barrio Los Ángeles Saturday night. Investigators said the man tried to cross the highway and was struck by a pickup.

That also happened on Ruta 27, the Caldera highway, when a 28-year-old man with the last name of Padilla tried to cross, said agents. The site was six kilometers west of the Ciudad Colón toll station, they said.

The Instituto Nacional de Seguros reported in November that the bulk of the motorcycle owners in Costa Rica evaded obligatory insurance. The national insurance company estimated that there were 382,027 motorcycles on the road in 2011.

The company was trying to justify an insurance hike for this type of vehicle when it estimated that persons killed or injured as a result of motorcycles in 2011 would be 5,593. Motorists who watch motorcycle drivers snaking their way through traffic sometimes at high speeds might be inclined to think the estimate is low.

The Consejo Nacional de Vialidad, the road agency, reported that 72 motorcyclists died in 2011. The agency blamed high speeds for most of the mishaps.

Last month saw 13 persons killed in motorcycle mishaps, according to Consejo figures.

Both the statistics from the Consejo de Vialidad and the Cruz Roja are low because they do not count those who died later in the hospital. In the case of the Cruz Roja, its statistics lack those fatalities with injuries so acute that the rescue agency never is called.

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