Pedestrian safety continues to be a growing concern. Before walking near moving vehicles, it is crucial to be aware of the potential safety hazards that could lead to an accident. Likewise, drivers should also consider how they might endanger people on the road.
Taking precautions and understanding the various risk factors may reduce your chances of becoming involved in an accident.
Risk factors to watch out for
Unfortunately, the number of pedestrian fatalities and injuries grows annually. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 7,500 people lost their lives, while 60,000 sustained injuries in 2021, a 13% increase from the previous year.
One of the major risks is distracted driving. When drivers engage in nondriving tasks such as texting, their brains can stay distracted for up to 27 seconds. Slower reaction times due to distractions as well as alcohol drinking or drug use may cause drivers not to see a person on the road and cause an accident.
Additionally, the National Safety Council says that most deaths occur on urban streets and open roads, especially in dark conditions. People are difficult to see in intersections, at night or when speeding. Recklessness from both drivers and pedestrians who disobey traffic laws and do not pay attention can be a recipe for disaster.
Precautions you can take
Pedestrians are among the most vulnerable road users. Without the protection of a metal vehicle, a collision with a motorist may cause you to suffer severe injuries or death.
Below are a few ways you can avoid putting yourself in harm’s way:
- When walking near moving vehicles, use sidewalks as much as you can and try to cross the street at an intersection or crosswalk.
- Always remain vigilant and watch out for vehicles in parking lots.
Meanwhile, drivers may help reduce causing pedestrian accidents by staying sober, following the speed limit and other traffic safety guidelines, always looking out for pedestrians and giving way to pedestrians.
Sadly, many pedestrians continue to find themselves seriously hurt due to accidents that were easily avoidable. If a reckless driver causes you to suffer injuries while walking, seek medical attention right away. You may also want to review what legal options are available to you.