Whether you’re taking a leisurely stroll, running errands or exercising, walking is a great way to get fresh air and save money on car expenses. However, pedestrians also face significant risk for automobile accidents and fatalities.
In order to better protect yourself, our car accident attorneys want you to remember these important pedestrian safety tips.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in 2012 there were 4,743 pedestrians killed and 76,000 injured in traffic accident in the United States. It is estimated that 445 pedestrians are injured every 24 hours, and 1 pedestrian is killed every 2 hours due to traffic collisions (CDC).
“While bicyclists are classified as vehicles, pedestrians are considered travelers on foot, wheelchair, stroller, and other similar transportation methods,” explains Scott Mann, car accident attorney. “They are extremely vulnerable when crossing busy streets, or walking on the side of the road when no sidewalks are available. When motorists are speeding or under the influence of alcohol, then it can have tragic consequences for pedestrians.”
Pedestrians are most at risk when crossing at non-intersections in urban areas, or at night when visibility is at its lowest. Children walking to and from school are also at high risk for automobile collisions. In 2012, over 20 percent of the children between the ages of 5 and 15 who were killed in traffic were pedestrians (CDC). Furthermore, 20 percent of all pedestrian fatalities involved pedestrians 65 years old and older (CDC).
“Pedestrians of all ages need to take necessary safety precautions when walking near busy streets,” says Mike Wyatt, car accident attorney. “Always cross at a designated crosswalk or intersection. It’s best to use sidewalks whenever possible, but if none are available then walk on the shoulder of the road facing traffic. When walking at night, pedestrians need to do everything possible to increase their visibility with reflective clothing and flashlights.”