Enjoying the outdoors on a walk or walking for transportation in Arizona are among the benefits of living in a warm climate year-round. With distraction at the wheel now blamed for about 11 percent of all automobile accidents in Arizona—a statistic that is growing–pedestrians are at risk as often as fellow drivers. There are more than 50,000 pedestrian accidents per year in the USA, according to the National Highway Transportation and Safety Authority. Distraction is one of the causes of these pedestrian accidents, but there are many others.
It is true pedestrians have the responsibility to be as aware as drivers when walking in busy areas. Yet, negligence behind the wheel is the culprit in most pedestrian accidents.
These are among the most common driver causes of negligence behind the wheel:
- Ignoring weather and traffic conditions
- Distracted driving such as talking on the phone or texting
- Ignoring traffic signals or signs
- Failing to alert others to your intentions such as signaling to turn
- Failing to stop at crosswalks for pedestrians
Anytime a driver is behind the wheel and is not fully engaged in driving or in following the rules of the road, people are at risk. Whether the people around these kinds of drivers are walking, in a crowd, on a bicycle, or in a car, catastrophe is a potential threat. Pedestrians may be the most vulnerable of all since they are not protected by anything and have nothing to break the impact or to get away quickly. But what about the pedestrian’s responsibility to be aware and to use pedestrian caution. There are rules of the road for people walking too.
Guidelines for Pedestrian Caution
High volume city areas have the highest incidence of pedestrian accidents for a few obvious reasons—more vehicles and more pedestrians. There is the idea that there is safety in numbers which leads to pedestrians who are also distracted and not mindful of their surroundings.
Here Are Some Other Potential Dangers Pedestrians May Create:
- Failing to yield at “Walk” signs when crossing at an intersection
- “Jay walking” or failing to use marked crosswalks
- Jumping in front of or walking into traffic without looking
- Disrupting traffic flow by entering the road
If you walk frequently for recreation, exercises, or to get to work or school, there are some precautions you can take to lessen the chance of being involved in a pedestrian traffic accident, especially if you must be out early in the morning dawn or late at night. Wearing bright, reflective clothing or using reflective tape to be seen on a backpack, hat, or jacket to help drivers notice you. Another tool is to secure an inexpensive, blinking light from a bike shop and attach to your hat or purse to increase visibility. Taking care to be aware of your surroundings while you walk can alleviate many of the potential dangers listed above.
If you are involved in a pedestrian accident, you can tamp future issues by following a few simple steps. First, remain calm and move to a safe area and out of traffic right away. Call the police and be part of the reporting process. Never leave the scene before help arrives and trade your contact information with any witnesses at the scene. Do not say anything to anyone at the scene about what you saw, did or didn’t do. If you were the pedestrian, the driver, or a passenger, being respectful, yet reserved in offering information is important. Often, pedestrians and drivers immediately begin blaming one another. Do not fall into this trap. Finally, contact a pedestrian injury attorney.
Pedestrian accidents range from minor scrapes with vehicles to tragic fatalities. If you have suffered an injury in a pedestrian accident, Petersen Johnson is your pedestrian injury firm. We can help you get what you need to heal and recover any damages you sustained from medical expenses to lost wages. You may also be eligible for compensation for the pain and suffering you endured because of the accident. Call our firm today to learn how we can help you, without any out of pocket expense to you. As pedestrian accident attorneys, we know how to work with insurance companies, law enforcement, and your medical providers to help you get what you need to get back on your feet after a pedestrian accident.