Pedestrian Survival Guide
Safety Tips from Our Knowledgeable Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Pedestrians generally take their safety for granted because they don’t share the road with vehicles. They are also of the mindset that by law, they are protected against motorists and that they have the right of way, as if they expect all drivers to be law-abiding citizens. What many do not realize is that road safety is the responsibility of both drivers and pedestrians. All people share this accountability, even if the driver is most likely to be at-fault.
Although the government enacted a variety of laws and implemented infrastructure projects, we still see accidents happen because of negligent pedestrians. In 2013, more than 4,000 pedestrians died in car crashes, and another 66,000 survived but had injuries. Based on statistical studies, 49% of all these cases have something to do with alcohol. The other 51% involved ordinary individuals who were not impaired at the time. The following tips can help you survive the urban jungle and keep yourself in one piece.
Make Sure You Are Visible
Granted that you are not likely to wear bright colors every day or night, there are still some ways to let drivers see you. For example, you must bring and use a flashlight when walking at night. The light alerts drivers a few hundred meters away and will force them to slow down, knowing that there is a person up ahead. Also, you should only cross the street at night in lighted areas. Any experienced pedestrian accident attorney knows that most drivers who hit a person at night will claim that they never saw you.
During the day, it makes perfect sense to steer clear of cars and obstacles that prevent a driver from seeing you. Think in the same way drivers do. Make yourself visible. Before crossing, look the driver in the eye and make sure they see you. And when they look at you, raise your arm and signal them to stop. This hand movement indicates that you are going to cross. Without this hand signal, the driver cannot read what is on your mind and does not know if you intend to stay put or cross.
Be Smart on the Road
Many pedestrians get hit because they horse around while walking. Behavior like this is very typical of teenagers. They have no regard for their safety and play pranks on each other on the road. Needless to say, it can be dangerous to play around on the streets, surrounded by heavy metal machines moving at high speeds.
You should always walk on the sidewalk even if the road is very wide. You have to understand that drivers will stick to their lanes because they need to consider the movement of other cars. Staying in their lanes ensures that they are driving safely. You should do the same and stay in your “lane.” If there is no sidewalk, you should hug the shoulder while facing oncoming traffic.
Most importantly, stay sober. As mentioned earlier, 49% of cases that accident law firms handle have something to do with alcohol. Whenever you walk impaired, you are significantly increasing your accident risk.
Also, just because you are using a pedestrian a crosswalk doesn’t mean you cannot get hit. Some drivers are careless. Look at the driver, even if the green light is on. If the driver is distracted (texting) and he is not stopping, do not cross.
Do Not Cross Where You Shouldn’t
It is a no-brainer. Rules exist because the people who created them know that without this regulation, accidents are likely to happen.
For one, never attempt to cross the street in areas not meant for pedestrians. Look for the appropriate places to cross like footbridges, underpass, or zebra-striped lanes. These structures are around to put order into perspective and keep pedestrians safe. In short, do not jaywalk.
Next, never cross on road bends. Road bends are not intersections. These are roads that are not straight, which you typically see on rural highways. The logic here is simple: because of the curved road, you cannot see what is coming, and drivers cannot see you, too. If you insist, it will always be too late for a driver to hit the brakes. By the time he sees you, you are only a few meters, if not inches, away from the speeding car.
Lastly, do not cross when the traffic light says you shouldn’t. Many traffic lights have a DO NOT WALK sign. It is always a bad idea to beat the red light on foot. By the time you hit the middle of the crosswalk, the drivers would have already seen the green light from their side and stepped on the pedal. Even if the driver in front of you sees you and stops, the speeding driver to his left has no clue that you are there. As you advance, this second driver also advances and is likely to hit you.
Get Legal Help
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident due to a negligent or reckless driver, consult with an experienced pedestrian accident attorney from Wilshire Law Firm. We can give you a comprehensive evaluation of your rights and best legal options for recovery. Call us at 1-800-52-CRASH for immediate assistance.