According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, pedestrian safety is often considered common sense, yet pedestrians account for a staggering 17% of all crash fatalities in the United States. That means more than 6,000 pedestrians die each year in what could be preventable accidents.
The NHTSA estimates that an additional 76,000 pedestrians are injured in traffic incidents. Those pedestrians who survive a motor vehicle accident are often left with a combination of serious injuries, PTSD, and incredibly high medical bills.
The Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrians are considerably more vulnerable than drivers and vehicle passengers. Like many motor vehicle accidents, crashes involving pedestrians are often preventable. Following safety precautions and laws both as a pedestrian and as a driver can help prevent these tragic accidents.
What Pedestrians Can Do to Stay Safe
Walking is a wonderful alternative mode of transportation. It is environmentally friendly, a fantastic form of exercise, and affords you the opportunity to enjoy your surroundings. However, it is important to take precautions in order to stay as safe as possible when walking near roadways.
The NHTSA suggests these safety measures for all pedestrians:
- Obey all of the rules of the road and observe all traffic signs and signals.
- Use on sidewalks when possible.
- If no sidewalk is available, walk toward the direction of traffic, but as far away from traffic as possible.
- Should a crosswalk not be available, find a well-lit section of the street to have the optimal view of oncoming traffic. Wait until traffic has cleared, allowing you enough time to cross the street safely, and continue looking out for oncoming traffic as you cross the street.
- Cross streets at intersections and crosswalks. Look for cars in all directions, including those turning left or right.
- Look out for vehicles entering or exiting driveways or parking spots.
- Avoid walking when intoxicated.
What Drivers Can Do to Keep Pedestrians Safe
All drivers have the important responsibility of pedestrian awareness. In addition to following the rules of the road and obeying all traffic signs and signals, a driver must also be vigilant about assessing pedestrian safety. The NHTSA recommends these tips for all drivers to maintain pedestrian safety:
- Look out for pedestrians everywhere, at all times.
- Use extra caution when driving in hard-to-see conditions, such as nighttime or bad weather.
- Slow down and be prepared to stop when turning or otherwise entering a crosswalk.
- Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and stop far back from the crosswalk to give other vehicles an opportunity to see the crossing pedestrians so they can stop, too.
- Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. There may be people crossing where you can’t see.
- Never drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
- Follow the speed limit, especially around people on the street, in school zones, and in neighborhoods where children are present.
- Be extra cautious when backing up and look for pedestrians.
Driven to Distraction: Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
The causes of pedestrian accidents vary depending on the circumstances. However, experts agree that distracted driving and distracted walking are enormous contributors to pedestrian fatalities. Distracted driving includes texting, emailing, and eating while driving as well as drivers who are adjusting a GPS, talking with passengers, or “engaging in other distracting behaviors.” Similarly, pedestrians who are texting, listening to music, or talking on their phones are also less aware of their environments and may not hear approaching vehicles.
The CDC estimates that nearly half of all fatal pedestrian accidents involve alcohol. This data includes alcohol consumption on the part of the driver, the pedestrian, or both.
Montlick & Associates Helps Pedestrian Accident Victims & Their Families
Pedestrian accident victims may require costly medical care, or even have to contend with lost income, permanent disability, psychological harm, and other serious issues. At Montlick & Associates, our attorneys know the devastating effects of a pedestrian accident on victims and their families. We fight hard to get our clients the highest compensation to which they are entitled based on their case. This can include, as an example, compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, punitive damages if the defendant’s conduct rose to the level of gross negligence, and more. Following a pedestrian accident, it is critical that you protect your legal rights in order to maximize any potential recovery. There are many legal and contractual deadlines that must be met in order for you to receive any potential compensation, so do not delay in contacting Montlick & Associates for your free case evaluation.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, contact the Pedestrian Accident Attorneys at Montlick & Associates. Our firm has assisted pedestrian and related traffic accident victims across the United States. Our experienced and knowledgeable attorneys are only a phone call away. Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for your free consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED. You can also visit us online at montlick.com and use our free case evaluation form or free 24/7 live online chat.
Call us at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for your free consultation, or visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our free case evaluation form or 24-hour live online chat.