If you are either a driver or a pedestrian, you should know how important it is to protect yourself.  It is a scary thought to think about how the number of fatalities has risen over the past couple of years with auto-pedestrian accidents.  This type of accident happens more frequently than any other type of traffic death.
Within the past five years alone, the nation has seen a huge increase in fatalities in auto-pedestrian accidents. A twenty-five percent increase.  Impaired driving could be to blame for this, as could distract drivers and pedestrians.  And with the use of cell phones, specifically smartphones, becoming distracted has never been more of an issue. However, Utah has seen a decline in the number of deaths, according to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association.  In the year 2015, the number of deaths was listed as 49 due to auto-pedestrian accidents. In 2016, it decreased to 39, then increased to 43 in 2017. In 2018, the number decreased to 39. Currently, Utah’s pedestrian deaths account for 15 percent of all road fatalities in the state.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 430 people will go to the ER for an accident related to auto-pedestrian in a 24 hour period, with one person dying every two hours.
Auto-pedestrian accidents are very common.  However, these accidents are preventable in many situations.  Even though there are a number of campaigns around the United States, including Utah, it is not enough.  These campaigns were created to educate others about driver and pedestrian safety, and what responsibilities each of them plays.  Sadly, these campaigns are not making much of an impact on the number of auto-pedestrian deaths each year.

What Can Drivers Do To Protect Themselves?

There are different things that drivers can do to protect themselves so they do not hit a pedestrian.  It is recommended that you look for pedestrians at all times. Eyes should be on the road when driving, and you should be very aware of your surroundings.
Avoid distractions at all costs.  Do not eat or drink while you are driving.  Turn the music down to a minimum and have passengers talk quietly.  Never use a cell phone or other device while driving. Hands-free devices are not even recommended to use while driving.  If you absolutely need to use one, wait until you arrive at your destination, otherwise pull over in a safe spot to use the device.  Remember at all times that it only takes one second for a pedestrian to jump out in front of your vehicle.
If you see a pedestrian in the crosswalk, yield to them.  Never drive past anyone that is crossing the street. You should wait until they have safely crossed and resume driving when safe.
Follow the speed limit and road signs, especially in areas that have lots of children, such as schools.
Be alert in bad weather.  Turn your headlights on, and use your turning signals at all times.  You may have a hard time seeing pedestrians, and they may also have a hard time seeing you.
Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  Even if you have had one drink, it can impair your judgment.

What Can Pedestrians Do To Protect Themselves?

When crossing the street, there are a number of things that pedestrians can do to protect themselves from injury or a fatality.  By utilizing these tips, pedestrians can help themselves and the drivers on the road.
A pedestrian should only cross the street at designated crosswalks.  It is imperative to press the button on the crossing signal when you first come upon it, then watch for it to tell you when it is safe to cross.  Walk straight across, paying attention to your surroundings.
Use eye contact with other drivers.  Make sure they see you and then you can cross the road.  
Never Jaywalk (crossing a street at places other than a designated area, such as a crosswalk).  Jaywalking is illegal in some states, but it is very dangerous. If there is not a crosswalk, you need to make sure that no traffic is coming in either direction.
Walk on a sidewalk if possible.  If there is not a sidewalk, walk towards traffic, not with it.  Keep to the shoulder of the road. Never walk on interstate highways as this is illegal to do so.
If walking at night, it is advised to use a flashlight.  You should also wear bright colored clothing, and use reflective gear, such as a reflective jacket or vest, reflective shoes, or a pair of pants with reflective tape.  Never wear dark colored clothing as it is too hard to see you. Even in the daytime hours, it is still best to wear colored clothing.
A pedestrian should not text and walk.  The pedestrian needs to be alert at all times.  If you need to text someone, stop in a safely lit area and do so, then continue on walking.  
A pedestrian should never assume that the driver will give them the right of way.  Many of us have been taught that the pedestrian always has the right of way, but some drivers feel that the pedestrian should wait on them.  

Pedestrian Accidents in Salt Lake City

If you have been the victim in an auto-pedestrian accident, you will need an experienced lawyer that will fight for your rights.  You have a right to a full settlement, but unfortunately, the insurance company will try to low-ball the amount. There will be other costs associated with an accident, such as wages lost from work, doctors and hospital bills, car repairs, and more.  The attorneys at Siegfried & Jensen can get you the compensation you deserve and will fight tooth and nail to win your case.  We have the experience to build your case so you can return to your normal standard of living. We take care of all the work, so you can concentrate on getting better.  Call us today for a free, no obligation consultation.

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Content checked by personal injury attorney Todd Bradford. I worked for a small law firm in Utah County, where I handled various types of cases. My main focus was personal injury and I decided that is what I enjoyed doing the most. I rejoined Siegfried and Jensen in 2012 where my focus is solely on helping personal injury clients. I take pride in helping personal injury clients and enjoy serving them. If you need an attorney for auto accidents or injuries of any kind in Salt Lake City, UT, Ogden, UT, Spokane, WA, or Boise, ID, contact us.