Pedestrian safety depends on the actions of drivers and pedestrians. By the end of 2018, the number of Americans killed in vehicular accidents has been the highest for the past 30 years. Meanwhile, about 75,000 were injured in car crashes.
In response, the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration designated October 2020 as the first-ever National Pedestrian Safety Month. Pedestrian injuries and fatalities are unacceptable. Everyone is a pedestrian once in a while. Improving pedestrian safety is everybody’s call.
Pedestrian Safety Precautions for Drivers
Accidents occur when drivers fail to spot pedestrians. To prevent such accidents, drivers should follow these safety precautions when driving:
- Always watch out for pedestrians.
Keep pedestrians safe by always being on the lookout. As a driver, you should check the presence of pedestrians before increasing speed, driving in reverse, or parking. In school zones and residential areas, be more careful as children are harder to spot.
- Respect crosswalks.
Pedestrians have the right of way. Do not honk at them. Stop before reaching the crosswalk when the traffic signal has a steady yellow or steady red indication. Make sure that you leave space so that drivers behind can see that people are crossing. If you are the driver behind, do not attempt to pass.
- Do not drink and drive.
Deaths from alcohol-involved crashes increased by 27% between 2016 and 2017. Driving under the influence of alcohol has penalties. However, the most expensive penalty is lives lost.
- No distractions when driving.
Driving requires full attention. In 2018, distracted driving caused 400 pedestrian fatalities. Thus, never take your hands off the wheel and eyes off the road, and Do not take calls, answer texts, eat, or drink.
- Follow speed limits.
- Be extra careful in less than optimal driving conditions.
Rain, snow, or fog reduces visibility, so drive with caution. When driving at night, use your headlights and show courtesy when passing vehicles from the opposite direction. Do not attempt to drive if the driver is feeling fatigued, drowsy, or tipsy.
Pedestrian Safety Precautions for People Traveling by Foot
Drivers and pedestrians are both responsible for pedestrian safety. These are precautions pedestrians should remember when walking:
- Obey traffic rules and signals.
Cross only at intersections and when the walk signal is on. In 2017, not crossing on the intersection accounted for 34.8% of pedestrian fatalities in Michigan.
- Walk where you should walk.
Sidewalks are specifically for pedestrian use. Walk on the side of the road facing traffic in its absence. It is important that you face the traffic so you can see approaching vehicles.
- Be alert at night, especially on Fridays.
Most vehicular accidents in Michigan consistently occurred between 6 PM and 7 PM from 2015 to 2019. In all of the U.S., accidents occur between 6 PM and 8:59 PM. In 2018, pedestrian fatalities mostly occurred on Fridays and Saturdays. Be extra cautious; use a flashlight at night if you need to walk. Wear bright clothing so drivers can see you even in dark surroundings.
- Do not drink and walk.
Walking and drinking may not be illegal, but it is dangerous, no less. Of the 6,205 pedestrian fatalities in 2019, 27.5% had been drinking. Alcohol consumption affects your senses, and lesser consciousness when walking results in accidents.
- No distracted walking.
Pedestrians aged 16 to 25 are at risk of injury due to distracted walking. Young people use their phones while walking. Some even have earphones on. All these distractions make pedestrians fail to pay full attention to their surroundings.
- Be aware of the surroundings.
Not using your phones is not a guarantee of safety. Many other things can cause accidents. Before entering the street:
- Make eye contact with drivers so they will know your movement.
- Watch out for parking cars and those that enter or exit driveways.
- Even when walking on sidewalks, watch out for cars driving in reverse.
- Walk with a mindset that drivers cannot see you.
Pedestrians can always use a little more caution when walking. Never assume that drivers see you. With their speed and distance, some drivers fail to spot objects and pedestrians, whether near or far.
Contact The Clark Law Office for Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
You may seek damages if, as a pedestrian, you sustained injuries from a car accident. The Clark Law Office will be happy to assist you so you can get the compensation you deserve. Call us at (517) 347-6900 or fill out our confidential form today so we can get started with your case.