Pedestrian accidents are some of the most lethal incidents that can ever befall someone. The victim is not protected by the hardware of the vehicle but is instead left to take the brunt of the force of impact on their own body. This impact can lead to irreparable damage, life-altering injuries, and even wrongful death. In the year 2017 alone, nearly 6,000 people lost their lives to such crashes. This translates to one person dying every 88 minutes in this country due to being struck by a vehicle while walking or otherwise being present in public spaces while outside a car.
Additionally, another 137,000 people found themselves in the hospital with fatal injuries after a pedestrian-vehicle collision. Pedestrians are 1.5 times likelier to be involved in a car accident. The Dallas pedestrian accident attorneys at Reyes Law have provided critical information surrounding these types of accidents and how you can avoid them to keep you and those around you safe.
The Leading Causes Behind Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents are those incidents in which someone who is walking on a public sidewalk or other path is struck by a moving vehicle (this can be a car, motorcycle, or other motorized vehicles). There are certain areas in which you may be at a higher risk of being struck, such as metropolitan neighborhoods and areas that do not have painted crosswalks or marked intersections. In such locations, you must practice higher levels of vigilance, as drivers may not be as aware of your presence as they should be.
No matter where you are, though, the most common causes of collisions between vehicles and pedestrians are:
- Drivers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Exceeding the speed limit
- Neglecting to pay attention to traffic lights and signs
- Ignoring pedestrians in crosswalks
- Distracted driving (i.e., cell phone use, being occupied with other individuals in the car, etc.)
- Neglecting to use turn signals
Take note that these causes are entirely the responsibility of the motorist. What this means is that your best bet at keeping yourself safe as a pedestrian is assuming that the drivers on the adjacent road are not doing the best they can to keep you safe, so you must take up this task yourself. Here are some ways to avoid becoming a victim of a pedestrian accident.
How to Keep Yourself Safe from Pedestrian Accidents
Although it is primarily the driver’s fault when a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle, keep in mind that you still have a part to play in preventing these incidents from occurring. Adhere to the listed guidelines to keep yourself as safe as possible when out for a walk in public spaces.
- Wear reflective clothing or carry a flashlight when walking at night.
- Use sidewalks and other clearly marked walking paths. Do not J-walk.
- Do not walk near roads or out in public if you are intoxicated. You may unknowingly wander into oncoming traffic.
Prevention and awareness are your greatest defense against being struck by a vehicle. Keep these safety guidelines in mind the next time you are out and about in public areas.