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Pedestrian Safety Tips

pedestrian crossing sign on street light

Pedestrian accidents reached a 28-year high in 2018. In one short year, 6,283 pedestrians lost their lives to motor vehicle crashes, and 2018 saw the highest mortality rate since 1990. While other types of traffic fatalities went down, pedestrian deaths rose by 4% from 2017 to 2018 and have risen by 35% since 2008.

Experts attribute this increase to the rise in SUVs (sport utility vehicles) and trucks, which are more likely to kill a person due to their size and weight, along with the rise of smartphones, which can be a “significant distraction for all road users.” As always, drugs and alcohol play an unfortunate role in fatal crashes and most fatal accidents happen after dark.

Everyone is a pedestrian at some point in the day, so what can you do to keep yourself safe?

Check out our pedestrian safety tips below:

Be Visible

When you go for a walk, make sure drivers can see you. Wear bright clothing and walk in well-lit areas. If you’re walking at night, carry a flashlight, and wear reflective clothing or materials.

Be Predictable

Follow the rules of the road and obey traffic signs and symbols. Use the sidewalk whenever possible and cross at crosswalks when they are available. If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far away from moving vehicles as possible. When crosswalks are not available, cross at intersections or other places where drivers expect pedestrians. Do not cross in between parked cars and always look for cars in both directions. Keep in mind cars may be entering or exiting driveways or making right or left turns.

Wait for a gap in traffic that allows you the time you need to cross safely and continue watching for cars as you cross. Never assume a driver will see you nor that the driver will stop. If possible, make eye contact with drivers and try to indicate your intention to cross.

Be Alert

Although walking under the influence is not illegal, it is not a good idea because it can impair your abilities and judgment. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

Almost half (47%) of crashes that resulted in a pedestrian death involved alcohol for the driver and/or the pedestrian.”

Electronic devices can be another source of distraction and impairment. Pay attention when you’re walking and avoid looking at your screen. Being able to hear your surroundings is also very important, so avoid using earbuds, as well.

Know the Risks (and Your Rights)

Most pedestrian accidents occur in urban areas, outside of intersections, and at night. If you walk when the sun is up and stay in crosswalks, you’re already reducing the risk of a crash. Older adults and children are at the highest risk for fatal pedestrian accidents, so drivers should be especially wary around these populations, and parents should always supervise their children and model safe walking behaviors.

If someone disregards these risks and speeds through town, drives drunk or distracted, or otherwise harms you, know that you can hold them accountable. The Law Offices of Charles R. Gueli can help you file a pedestrian accident lawsuit and get the justice and compensation you deserve.

Call us at (516) 628-6402 or contact us online to learn more – we offer free consultations and are available to you 24/7.

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