People are never more vulnerable around traffic then when they are on foot. Negotiating crowded crosswalks and attempting to work our way across busy streets without getting hurt takes a certain amount of skill, especially in your more populated areas. According to statistics that were gathered by the Governer’s Highway Safety Association, approximately 6,000 pedestrians died in 2017 as the result of a vehicular accident. Almost the same number of people died in the exact same way in 2016 as well.
A lot of urban areas are taking steps to improve the safety of their pedestrians by adding things like walking paths and better lighting but there are plenty of other factors that continue to impair pedestrian safety, such as parking lots, blind intersections, narrow sidewalks, and overly crowded roadways in general. Even if you own and regularly use an automobile, at some point, like walking from your car to the store, you will be a pedestrian.
We still have a long way to go when it comes to whittling down the number of pedestrian deaths we see each year to zero, but in the meantime, there are several behaviors that drivers and pedestrians can actively engage in that will help to keep everyone as safe as possible.
If you are a pedestrian who has suffered an injury from an accident involving an automobile, then it is in your best interest to contact a Utah personal injury attorney just as soon as you can.
Increase Your Visibility to Drivers on the Road
In order to remain as safe as possible, pedestrians need to make every effort to make themselves visible to motorists. Pedestrians are able to make minute changes to their wardrobes, particularly at night, in order to enhance their visibility. For instance, a pedestrian could don brightly colored clothing or even clothes with reflective strips sewn on to them. The bright colors will help the pedestrian to stand out, as will the reflective material.
Both of these things would help to warn drivers of their proximity when it is dark outside. Pedestrians should also consider carrying a flashlight if they plan to go walking or running at night. A flashlight will both help to light up the pedestrian’s pathway and it also alerts oncoming drivers to the fact that a pedestrian is present on the side of the roadway
Another simple but smart safety precaution that pedestrians could take would be to simply make sure that they are always aware of their surroundings and following the rules of the road. Pedestrians should only cross streets at clearly marked crosswalks and intersections. These designated areas for crossing the street will have signs that will alert oncoming drivers of potential pedestrians crossing the street. Furthermore, these crosswalks are usually well-lit at night. A pedestrian crossing through an unmarked intersection should always attempt to cross in the most well-lit portion possible in order to avoid any accidents.
Pedestrians should also make every effort to walk in areas where the driver’s view of them is not blocked by any roadside obstructions. It is also important that when crossing an intersection, you cross from the corners. Do not wait for the light to change from in between parked cars on the side of the street. This makes you virtually invisible to drivers that are coming down the road.
Avoid Dangerous Behaviors
Along with taking safety precautions to increase their visibility, pedestrians should avoid engaging in certain dangerous behaviors while they are out walking. To begin with, pedestrians should always remain on the sidewalk. That is what they are there for and they are much safer than trying to walk to the side in an actual traffic lane.
Not every area has sidewalks, however, and as a result, pedestrians may have no choice but to walk on the street or in the shoulder. If you find yourself in this situation, you should always walk facing the flow of traffic. Facing the flow of traffic lets oncoming drivers see you more easily and it also gives you the ability to see oncoming traffic and increases your chances of being able to react should something go awry.
You should never assume that you are completely safe when you are walking anywhere near a roadway. Assuming that every driver will obey the traffic laws so you don’t need to worry is a recipe for disaster. You need to focus on the actions you are able to control (yours) and not blindly give other people the benefit of the doubt where your safety is concerned.
You need to exercise caution and not depend solely on roadside signs to guide you safely. Even if you have the green light, look both ways before you cross the street. Ensure that any drivers on the road are going to come to a complete stop before you step out into moving traffic. Never jaywalk or cross the street against the light. Remember, most drivers are not looking for you and do not think about pedestrians until one is right in front of their car.
Another dangerous behavior that pedestrians should avoid is wearing earbuds or headphones of any kind while they are walking. I know, it sounds awful, but having earbuds in can be very dangerous because they prevent you from being fully aware of your surroundings. If someone were to yell to you or a car was to honk its horn in warning, you would possibly not be able to hear it and walk right into a situation that, instead of being avoided, ultimately leaves you injured.
If you have been injured in a traffic accident while obeying the laws as a pedestrian, you need to talk to a trained car accident attorney about your case. A car accident attorney will fight to get you the financial compensation that you are entitled to under the law. The personal injury attorneys here at Siegfried & Jensen have over thirty years worth of experience in helping victims recover from life-changing auto accidents and making sure that they collect the maximum amount of financial compensation for their losses.
Our clients are our family and we always do our best to get what is best for you. If you would be interested in a free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys regarding your case, then please reach out to us by calling 801-598-1218 today.