You are on your daily morning run on the same path every day. You have practically memorized your entire route; you know every sidewalk, pedestrian crossing, and stoplight. It is just like any other morning, which is why it never occurred to you that a pedestrian accident can happen. As you prepare to go home, you stop in the middle of your run because of the red traffic light on the pedestrian crossing. You wait for it to turn green, and when it does, you cross the street. That was the time when you hear tires screeching and a fast car heading towards your direction.
Pedestrian Accidents and Fatalities
In the United States, 5,376 pedestrian fatalities occurred in 2015. This number translates to an average of one pedestrian fatality every 1.6 hours. Pedestrians are often the victims of car accidents due to neglect.
Some of the most common reasons for pedestrian accidents and fatalities include:
- Distracted driving Some drivers are on their mobile devices while they drive. Some are eating or listening to loud music, which prevents them from concentrating on the road.
- Distracted walking Pedestrians are not free from any distractions while they walk or cross the streets. Some are texting, browsing the Internet, and talking in their mobile devices while they are in the middle of crossing the roads. This distraction puts them at risk of pedestrian accidents.
- Speeding Speeding is also a cause of pedestrian accidents. Drivers who fail to observe speed limits put everyone including his or her passengers, the pedestrians, and other people at risk of being involved in an accident.
- Ignoring traffic lights and signs Ignoring traffic lights applies to both the driver and the pedestrian. If the driver does not obey traffic lights, pedestrians are put at risk. If people who cross the street do not follow traffic lights intended for them, they are placing themselves at risk for pedestrian accidents.
- Drunk driving Drunk driving is hazardous as all the driver’s senses are compromised. When intoxicated, the driver will have a hard time seeing the road. Therefore, he or she will also have difficulty in seeing pedestrians who are crossing the street.
Defensive driving is a practical way to avoid pedestrian accidents, especially while you are driving in busy areas. These simple tips can help you prevent getting into an accident:
- Avoid exceeding the speed limit Speed limits are created for a reason. They help keep motorists at a safe pace. It is essential to stay within the speed limits to avoid causing harm to yourself, your passengers, and pedestrians.
- Focus on the road Never shift your attention away from the road, especially when driving around in busy areas. You must be observant and keep your eyes on where you are going. Avoid distractions such as your mobile phone, loud noise, and eating.
- Do not drive while intoxicated Drunk driving claims lives, which is why it is essential to stay away from the wheel if you are drunk. Your senses are numb because of the alcohol. It makes it difficult for you to drive because your ability to react fast and think clearly is compromised. If you plan on drinking, leave your car at home.
- Observe traffic rules and regulations Traffic rules aim to keep pedestrians and drivers safe. Therefore, it is important to obey them. Remember, green means go, yellow means slow down, and red means stop.
Safety Tips for Pedestrians
Passengers also have the responsibility to keep themselves safe while they are on the streets. These safety tips can help pedestrians avoid accidents:
- Avoid using your mobile device Distractions are the significant reasons why pedestrians are involved in crashes. When crossing the streets, do not use your mobile device or talk with your companions. Instead, concentrate on the road and watch where you are going.
- Follow traffic lights Traffic lights are created to keep both drivers and pedestrians from harm. Follow what the lights indicate. Do not cross when it is red. Otherwise, you are putting yourself in danger.
- Cross in the right place Avoid just crossing anywhere. Use pedestrian crossings so you can pass safely. It also keeps drivers aware that people are crossing that part of the road.
- Observe your surroundings If you are a pedestrian, you must also observe the vehicles, people, and everything around you. Focusing where you are going helps you avoid speeding vehicles and react fast when you need to.
The driver and pedestrians are responsible for each other’s safety. They must work together to keep the streets safe. Drivers must focus on what they are doing to avoid any collisions with other vehicles and to avoid hitting any pedestrians. Pedestrians need to cautious as well. They need to watch where they are going, and they have to cross the streets using designated areas.
If you’re concerned about your safety, you can click here to learn more about the legal aspects of pedestrian accident cases.
Vicki is a law writing enthusiast who’s had over 25 years of experience in her field. She enjoys sharing her experiences with those who want to learn more about the legal world. In her spare time she spends quality time with her family and friends.