Walking is a good form of exercise and one of the cheapest but it has risks. The number of pedestrian accidents remains high the data from NHTSA reported 5,977 pedestrians killed in traffic crashes in 2017.
Each time you stroll outside around vehicles, you risk coming into contact with one sustaining injuries. The accident might be the fault of the driver or the culpability of the person on foot.
COMMON CAUSE OF PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENTS
There are countless reasons why injuries and sometimes lethal accidents happen to pedestrians. Here are the most common causes of these mishaps:
Pedestrians not using sidewalks
Some pedestrians prefer to walk on the roadway than a sidewalk. There are reasons when sidewalks are not available like constructions on buildings make walkways impassable or an errant cyclist rides on the sidewalk. Pedestrians have no choice but to walk on the roads, people on foot are likely to be hit by vehicles.
If you stroll on the shoulder avoid distractions to stay focused on your surroundings. Most pedestrians involved in accidents are using cellphones and music devices.
Drunk drivers and pedestrians alike will use the roadways foolishly after their merrymaking exposing both parties to danger. Mostly, walkers under the influence of alcohol suffer fatal pedestrian accidents.
Pedestrians wearing dark clothing
During nighttime visibility is compromised, pedestrians wearing dark clothes are at a higher risk of being hit by drivers who may not see them until it’s too late. If you are walking at night wear light, bright or reflective clothing or carry a flashlight so drivers can see you.
Crosswalks are no guarantee that pedestrians are safe from vehicles. Both parties aren’t paying attention to each other, the person on foot is looking straight ahead while the driver negotiating the turn is busy watching oncoming vehicles for an opening to let them turn.
Many pedestrian accidents occur at roundabouts. Not all roads or intersections have well- defined crosswalks. If you need to cross a street without a crosswalk look for a spot that is bright and wait for a break in traffic before crossing.
A driver who is not focused on the road can hit, harm, and kill people on foot. The use of cellphones while driving is a major factor causing inattentiveness resulting in accidents.
HOW PEDESTRIANS CAN STAY SAFE?
Everyone is a pedestrian, and it is everybody’s concern to walk safely in their community. Here are tips to arrive in one piece in your destination
- Obey the rules of the road and respect the signs and signals.
- Use the sidewalks when available. If there is none, walk facing the traffic and as far as possible from the traffic.
- Avoid distractions, keep your eyes peeled on the road.
- Create eye contact with drivers to make sure that you are seen.
- Watch car movement
- Be wary of vehicles entering or leaving carports or backing up in parking areas.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs these impair your facilities and judgment when walking.
- Do not run when crossing the street, pause and look for gaps in the traffic.
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU’RE A VICTIM?
Most states expect drivers to focus on hazards on the street and a pedestrian qualify as one. Drivers have a commitment to see and keep away from things when on the road.
If a person on foot is hit by a vehicle, the driver is typically viewed to be at fault, regardless of whether the pedestrian was not in a crosswalk. Here are the things you should do:
- Get proper medical care.
- Call the police and have a report be filed.
- Gather information of everyone involved such as contact number, insurance, license, and plate numbers.
- Take notes of witness accounts.
- Take photographic evidence.
After completing these steps seek the assistance of a personal injury attorney. Never provide statements or sign anything to insurance representatives without legal help.
A lawyer will help you recover financial compensation for the injuries suffered. These funds will defray expenses for the medical treatment, compensate for lost wages, and give remuneration to injuries suffered.
He will protect your rights, provide advice, and represent you in court if a lawsuit is filed.