Pedestrian accidents are, unfortunately, highly common throughout the United States. Every 107 minutes, a pedestrian loses their life in a vehicle collision. Most of these incidents take place in urban areas and neighborhoods that are absent of intersections. Also, such accidents are especially prevalent on weekends and holidays, namely the New Year and Halloween. For this reason, you must exercise extreme caution under these conditions to protect yourself from negligent drivers. The first step to practicing such caution is knowing the potential causes of these accidents. Understanding the major causes of pedestrian accidents will further enable you to protect yourself from such accidents.
A pedestrian accident is characterized by the collision of a vehicle (i.e., a car, motorcycle, bicycle, scooter) with an individual who is on foot. As mentioned above, there are certain areas in which the risk of such collisions is much higher than in others. This is most likely a direct consequence of traffic and the prevalence of stoplights, primarily. For example, areas with relatively few intersections, such as rural neighborhoods, are more likely to have such crashes than suburban neighborhoods with stop signs and lights at nearly every turn.
Urban neighborhoods, on the other hand, are densely packed with traffic lights and signs. However, there are also significantly more vehicles. Further, the drivers of those vehicles tend to exceed speed limits and neglect to follow standard traffic rules. This severely enhances the probability that someone will become the victim of a pedestrian accident.
Weekend days are likely more dangerous due to the fact that people are not at work. Given that most people have an abundance of free time these days, there is an influx of cars on the road, many of which are operated by reckless drivers taking advantage of their time off.
By name, though, the most widespread behaviors that lead to collisions with pedestrians include:
- Distracted driving (i.e., adjusting the radio, messing with the GPS, texting)
- Ignoring traffic signals
- Drinking and driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs
- Neglect to exercise awareness of pedestrians in crosswalks
- Neglecting the use of a turn signal
Though all these offenses are on behalf of the driver, there are mistakes you can make, too, when walking near public roads. So, below are a few measures you can take to ensure that you are protected from motorists.
How to Avoid a Pedestrian Car Accident
Though it may seem that you are at the mercy of any motorist in proximity to you when you choose to walk in public areas, that is not so. There are many actions you can take to defend yourself from such recklessness. The following practices will increase your level of safety when walking on sidewalks and intersections:
- Always wear reflective clothing, use a reflective leash if you have a dog, or carry a flashlight when walking at night.
- Only use designated pedestrian areas such as sidewalks and marked intersections.
- Do not walk in public areas if you have been drinking or consuming drugs. Even while on foot, your judgment is compromised, and you may accidentally endanger yourself by ignoring “Walk/Don’t Walk” signs and wandering into oncoming traffic.
Practicing awareness and increasing your visibility as a pedestrian is the best way to protect yourself from these accidents. Come back and check these guidelines the next time you are out on the town to ensure that you remain as safe as possible.