Every day while driving to the places we need to go, it is probable that we will encounter pedestrians. Although most drivers know they need to exercise caution in these situations, the NHTSA reports that 4,735 deaths in 2013 were the result of car accidents involving a pedestrian. From this shocking statistic, we are left with the question of how do we prevent further pedestrian injuries or deaths?
Every city and town wants an environment where people feel safe to walk without the fear of being hit by oncoming traffic. An easy way to increase the safety of pedestrians is for drivers to exercise caution and abide by the traffic laws at all times, especially at night or in conditions where visibility is reduced. Running a red light or not stopping at a stop sign can not only increase a risk of a collision with a car, but also increase the chances of not seeing that a pedestrians is crossing the road. Another tip that may help increase pedestrian safety is for drivers to pay attention to indicators of an approaching crosswalk and slow down. This can make sure that your car has enough time to stop in the event there is someone in the street.
Although one should be on the look out for pedestrians at all times while driving, there are certain places that are more common and therefore, abiding by the traffic laws is at its utmost importance in these areas. These places include, but are not limited to, areas around schools and universities, residential areas, shopping areas, and intersections.
Pedestrians also need to exercise caution as well. The best way to increase your safety as a pedestrian is to never assume that the driver sees you and to always be predictable. Even if you have the signal to walk, make sure the approaching traffic is coming to a stop and sees that you are there before stepping out into the street. If you are walking or running after dark or in other conditions that reduces visibility, make sure that you can be seen.
If you are with children, make sure they are by your side at all times when crossing the street. Often times it is difficult for children to be seen by drivers. In 2011, 6% of pedestrians killed and 19% of pedestrians injured by automobiles were children under the age of 15. This is why it is so important that parents monitor their children and communicate to them how to stay safe as a pedestrian.
Protecting the safety of the members of our community should be the priority of all drivers. If we all exercise due care and caution as drivers and as pedestrians, we can help make Morgantown a safer place to live. For all of the safety tips included in this blog, along with additional safety tips, please visit “Everyone is a Pedestrian!,” and other pedestrian safety information issued by the DOT and NHTSA.
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If you or a loved one has been injured as a pedestrian, contact Colombo Law. Colombo Law is committed to helping those harmed by drivers get the assistance and help they need. Do not hesitate to contact our personal injury attorneys to schedule an initial consultation.