Walking is the most basic form of transportation – we’re all pedestrians at one time or another, but it can be surprisingly dangerous. Recent data from the Governor’s Highway Safety Association indicates U.S. pedestrian deaths have hit their highest level in 30 years. Never before has it been so risky to walk the dog, walk to work or take a stroll around the neighborhood.
The most recent statistics measure through 2019. We expect pedestrian deaths to take a slight dip for the months last year when people were staying home more and driving less. However, they’ll start to creep up again as people get out more and gas prices climb.
Pedestrian Accident Causes
For most drivers, one of the most horrific things they can imagine is hitting another person with their vehicle, so why are pedestrian accidents so common? These causes lead to pedestrians being hurt or killed year after year.
- Visibility Issues – Around 75 percent of pedestrian accident deaths occur after dark. Accidents might also occur because of poor weather conditions, because the driver’s headlights are dim or because an obstruction hides the pedestrian from view until it’s too late.
- Pedestrians running into the road – Children and adolescents sometimes don’t think through the danger when they enter the roadway suddenly.
- Distracted driving – Drivers might be drowsy, yelling at kids in the back seat or sending a text message and fail to see pedestrians in their path.
- Improper road crossing – Pedestrians should cross at crosswalks, but they don’t always.
- Failure to yield – Sometimes motorists ignore signals that direct pedestrians to cross a street.
Where Pedestrian Accidents Occur
Anywhere that isn’t well lit, if pedestrians are present they’re more likely to get hit. However, accidents can happen anywhere. They occur on the open road, in parking lots, at intersections and everywhere else walkers and motorists are both present.
Tips for Drivers
Drivers should always assume there’s the possibility of foot traffic and stay on the alert. When it’s dark or hard to see because of weather, slow down and proceed with extra caution. Scan intersections as you approach to see if people might be present. Follow the speed limit and slow down as directed in school zones and neighborhoods. Avoid driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Keep your eyes peeled in parking lots, especially when backing up.
Tips for Pedestrians
If you’re going to be on foot, make yourself as visible as possible. Dress in brightly colored or reflective clothing, especially at night. Stay in well-lit areas. Stay off your cell phone while you’re walking and instead keep your eyes on traffic. Only cross in designated areas, and look both ways even if you have a signal. Be especially vigilant as you approach driveways and cross parking lots.
If You Were Injured
If you or a loved one were injured because you were on foot and someone hit you with their vehicle, we can help you obtain compensation for your injuries so you can focus on getting well. Set up your free consultation online today.