Your Summer Guide to Pedestrian Safety
As the weather warms and school lets out, people are more likely to spend time outside. While getting fresh air is a good thing, cars and pedestrians are a dangerous mix. Hospitals and emergency centers treated more than 129,000 pedestrians for crash injuries in 2015. That is an average of traffic crash pedestrian injuries occurring every seven minutes.
Injuries aren’t the only concern when it comes to pedestrian and car collisions. Vehicle versus human collisions may lead to death. In fact, more than 5,300 people were killed in 2015 after being struck by a car, truck or commercial vehicle. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that a pedestrian is killed every two hours in traffic crashes. Further, 14 percent of all traffic crash fatalities were pedestrians.
Children between the ages of five and nine are at the greatest risk of being struck by a vehicle. Because these types of collisions can lead to lifelong injuries or death, it is imperative that motorists take precautions to avoid such collisions.
How to Avoid Hitting a Pedestrian
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 35 percent of car collisions occur during the summer months, alone. This is more than any other time of the year. Drivers have a duty of care to adhere to and must exercise reasonable care under certain circumstances. The following are actions drivers can take to avoid negligence:
Keep an Eye Out
When you are driving, look out for pedestrians everywhere. While safety is a shared responsibility, your vehicle is much larger than the average human—making it extremely deadly.
Consider Hard-to-see Conditions
Driving slower at night or during a summer storm can save a life. Slowing down widens your of the road, sidewalks and side streets. Additionally, it gives you time to react to unsuspecting incidents.
Rolling a stop sign is never a good idea. The sign exists for your safety and the safety of motorists and pedestrians around you. While you may think you’re an excellent and attentive driver, you may not see smaller objects like a child on a bike.
Yield to Foot Traffic
Pedestrians in crosswalks have the right of way. Stop far enough from the crosswalk to give other vehicles an opportunity to see pedestrians crossing.
Never Pass at a Crosswalk
A vehicle stopped at a crosswalk may be waiting on a pedestrian to cross. There may be people that you cannot see from your position. The best way to avoid causing traffic crash pedestrian injuries is to wait for the vehicle in front of you to clear the path than to go around.
Don’t Drink and Drive
Never drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
Follow Posted Speed Limits
Speed is a major factor in reaction time and how much of the road you can see. Most importantly the severity of a victim’s traffic crash pedestrian injuries can be attributed to how fast a motorist was driving. As noted above, following the rules of posted signs is the best thing you can do decrease your chances of severely or fatally injuring a pedestrian.
Reverse at a slow enough rate that you have time to react to pedestrians who move into your path.
Avoid Distracted Driving
In 2016 distracted driving claimed 3,450 lives. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for five seconds. At 55 mph, that’s the equivalent of driving an entire football field with your eyes closed. You cannot safely operate a motor vehicle unless driving has your full attention.
What is a Pedestrian’s Responsibility?
Contributory negligence may be assessed against a pedestrian if they fail to exercise reasonable care for his or her own safety. Because of this, pedestrians also have a responsibility when it comes to traffic safety. Pedestrians that fail to exercise such care will likely be found to have contributed to the cause of their own injuries.
What are the most common reasons for pedestrian contributory negligence?
- Intentionally disregarding “walk” signals at intersections
- Disrupting the flow of traffic by entering a road
- Failure to use marked crosswalks
- Darting into the road in front of an oncoming vehicle
The Carlson Law Firm Can Help Victims with Traffic Crash Pedestrian Injuries
The Carlson Law Firm has more than 40 years of experience helping those who have been the victim of another’s negligence. We are a compassionate and caring firm who puts the needs of our clients ahead of our profits. If you have suffered an injury or a loved was killed at the hands of a negligent driver, contact our firm right way. We have a personal injury attorney ready to assist you on your journey to recovery. Contact The Carlson Law Firm today to discuss your traffic crash pedestrian injuries.
- Written by Kazia Conway