Although walking is good for both the environment and your health, pedestrians are among the most vulnerable users of the road. From the moment we take our first steps and for each step after, we will come across different situations that will require a specific focus for ensuring the safety of pedestrians. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 76,000 pedestrians were injured in 2012, the most recent data available, and more than 4,700 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes.
About Pedestrian Safety
Pedestrians are considered individuals who travel by stroller, wheelchair, foot, or other similar means. Both pedestrians and drivers share the responsibility of keeping themselves and others on the road safe. Many strides have been made by the Federal Highway Administration to increase pedestrian safety and reduce the number of injuries and deaths that occur each year. For instance, the FHA has made improvements to infrastructures to add a variety of safety measures including redesigned roads and more medians to allow for better bicycle and pedestrian traffic flow.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the next 24 hours, more than 460 people will be treated in an emergency room for injuries sustained in traffic crashes. Unfortunately, statistics show that one pedestrian will die from injuries within the next two hours. Pedestrian men are more likely to sustain injuries or die in a vehicle crash than women, and the older the pedestrian, the more likely that he or she will die in a traffic accident.
Safety Tips for Pedestrians
Whenever you are walking, keep these 10 safety steps in mind:
- Always cross the street at a designated crosswalk.
- When walking at night, increase your visibility by wearing retro-reflective clothes and carrying a flashlight.
- Stay in well-lit areas, particularly when you are crossing the street.
- Make eye contact with drivers in vehicles who are stopped at lights to ensure they see you before you pass in front of their cars.
- Avoid distractions by putting your phone down and turning off your headphones; your ears will tell you a lot about your surroundings and what is happening around you.
- Exercise caution at intersections where drivers may not give you the right of way while turning onto an adjacent street.
- Follow all signs, signals, and traffic rules to anticipate what drivers will do.
- Never assume a driver will yield to you.
- Walk facing oncoming traffic so that drivers can see you if there is no sidewalk and you are forced to walk in the street.
- Avoid walking along highways or other roads where pedestrian traffic is prohibited.
By keeping these safety tips in mind as you travel, you are helping to decrease the likelihood that you will be involved in a traffic crash. Not only are you ensuring your own wellbeing, but you are also helping drivers to operate their motor vehicles in a safer manner if you are able to make eye contact and let them know you are present.
Being struck by a motor vehicle can be a terrifying event to a pedestrian. Please contact a personal injury lawyer to see if we can help you learn more about your accident and your rights. We may be able to help you receive compensation for your damages and help you through this difficult process. The Fernandez Firm stands ready to help you with your pedestrian injury needs. Call us today at (800) 222-8163.