Pedestrian accidents are increasing at a time when other types of accidents are going down. In 2018, a total of 6,283 pedestrians lost their lives to traffic accidents. This kind of statistic is unsettling, but there are steps we can take to reduce the risk of accidents, injuries, and fatalities.
Both drivers and pedestrians are responsible for their behavior on the road and have the ability to help lower pedestrian accidents.
That’s why we’ve gathered these important safety tips for drivers and pedestrians alike.
Driving Around Pedestrians
When you are behind the wheel, you owe a duty of care to everyone around you, whether they are in a car, on a bike or motorcycle, or walking down the street. Pedestrian safety is a shared responsibility, so keep the following tips in mind:
- Look out for pedestrians everywhere, at all times
- Be extra careful when driving in bad weather
- Exercise extra caution when driving at night
- Slow down and be ready to stop when entering crosswalks or intersections
- Turn and back up slowly and carefully
- Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks
- Stop well behind the crosswalk so other vehicles can see around you
- Never pass a vehicle that is stopped at a crosswalk
- Follow the speed limit at all times
- Adhere to slower speed limits in school zones and neighborhoods
- Slow down and use extreme caution when children are present
- Be patient with older pedestrians (don’t enter the intersection until they have made it across)
- Never drive under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
If you follow these tips, you should not be the cause of any pedestrian accidents. Adhering to the rules of the road and staying alert, careful, and focused on driving is the best way to avoid many types of car crashes, as well.
Safety for Pedestrians
The easiest ways to lower your risk of accidents as a pedestrian are to be visible and predictable. Wear bright clothing during the day and reflective materials at night and carry a flashlight whenever you walk in the dark.
Practice predictable walking by:
- Staying on sidewalks whenever they are available
- Walking facing traffic and as far from vehicles as possible when there is no sidewalk
- Crossing streets at crosswalks and intersections whenever you can
- Choosing high visibility locations when crosswalks and intersections are unavailable
- Only crossing when you have a large enough gap in traffic to do so safely
- Making eye contact with drivers before crossing
- Calling a friend, cab, or rideshare service if you have too much to drink
- Staying alert at all times
When you are on or near the road, you should not be looking at your cell phone or wearing headphones. Keep your eyes and ears out for cars at all times and never assume drivers can see you.
What Happens After a Pedestrian Accident
If you are behind the wheel during a pedestrian accident, do not, under any circumstances, leave the scene of the crash. Instead, get out and check if the pedestrian is alright. Call 911 for any injuries.
If you get hit by a car, check yourself for injuries. Call 911 for serious concerns and seek medical attention even if you seem unharmed. Gather as much information as you can about the accident.
Many pedestrian accidents are caused by negligence, particularly negligent drivers. If someone hits you while driving under the influence, texting while driving, or behaving irresponsibly, our attorneys at Pierce, Sloan, Kennedy & Early LLC can help.
We have been serving clients since 1999 and have more than 125 years of combined legal experience.
Put our legal team on your side by calling us at (843) 968-0886 today or sending us a message online – don’t forget to ask for a free consultation!