In 2010, 4,280 individuals were killed in pedestrian car accidents throughout the United States, and another 70,000 people were injured. Unfortunately, pedestrians were one of only a few demographics of road users that experienced an increase in fatalities last year, and this is a trend we are determined to put to an end. (Center for Disease Control and Prevention)
In an attempt to alleviate these numbers, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Everyone is a Pedestrian campaign is attempting to educate both drivers and pedestrians on ways to stay safe. Our lawyers thought we would pass some of this information along to our readers:
Be Predictable-Follow the rules of the road, and obey signs and signals. Cross streets at crosswalks and intersections whenever possible; this is where drivers will expect to encounter pedestrians. If there is no crosswalk or intersection near where you are walking, try to locate a well-lit area where you have the best chance of seeing and being seen by traffic.
Be Visible at All Times-Wear bright colored clothing, even during the day, and wear reflective materials or use a flashlight after dark to ensure that you have the best chance of being seen.
Stay Alert at All Times-If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic to ensure that you are able to see what is coming. Don’t allow electronic devices to distract you, as they can take your eyes and ears off of the road. Look for cars in all directions, and never assume that a driver sees you or will stop for you.
Be On the Lookout-Pedestrians can be anywhere, especially in a congested city like Chicago. Be on the lookout for people walking everywhere and at all times. Use extra caution when driving in conditions that limit visibility, such as at night or in bad weather.
Use Caution in Areas Frequented By Pedestrians-Slow down and practice defensive driving when turning or entering a crosswalk. Yield and stop well before crosswalks to allow other vehicles to easily see pedestrians as well, and never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk.
Special Situations-In some situations, drivers need to be especially careful. When backing up for instance, pedestrians can easily go unseen in blind spots, and children are sometimes to small to be detected in a rear-view mirror. A few of the other areas where it is beneficial to be especially careful include school zones, neighborhoods, and parking lots.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a pedestrian auto accident, or you are the survivor of someone who was killed by a negligent driver, you may be entitled to compensation. If you would like to explore your legal options, call your lawyers for a free consultation.