Posted on: 22 October 2015Share
While walking produces a wide array of health benefits, it can also put you at risk of injury. Pedestrian vehicle accidents and fatalities have been pretty steady for last few years, after a sharp decline for decades. There were more than 4,700 deaths, and approximately 76,000 injuries occurring in 2013. When it comes to pedestrian accidents everyone has to play a role in reducing these numbers, both the driver and the pedestrian, but if you are the pedestrian you are the one at risk of injury.
Are You Visible?
Too many times you hear of pedestrian vehicle accidents that take place because the driver of the vehicle simply did not see the person whom they struck. The highest number of fatalities takes place between the hours of 6 to 9 p.m. which incorporates the time between dusk to dark. When you combine this with the accidents that take place between 9 p.m. and midnight, you will be able to account for approximately half of the fatalities that take place.
When you go out for a walk, and you know you are going to be out after dark, always make sure you wear bright, or lightly colored clothing. Invest in a small pocket flashlight, or some other type of reflective gear to ensure those driving will be able to see you.
Can You Hear?
When you teach your children how to safely cross the street, you often teach them to stop, look, and listen. Unfortunately, as an adult many people fail to take their own advice. When you choose to listen to music, or talk on your cell phone, you are often blocking your sense of hearing. Being able to hear a vehicle approaching will give you more time to move out of the way.
Are You Crossing at the Right Location?
More than 69% of pedestrian fatalities occurred at non-intersections. Many times drivers are unable to avoid someone who steps out into the street from an unmarked location. Official crosswalks are marked with signs in advance, warning the motorists to be on the lookout for you crossing the road.
Are You Looking for Vehicles Making Left-Hand Turns?
Although signaled crosswalks reduce your risk of injury, they do not totally eliminate it. Drivers who are turning left are often trying to look in both directions, while you are often looking straight ahead. Checking both directions makes it easy for them to miss seeing you. For your safety, always be aware of vehicles that are in the turning lane.
Are You Negligent?
Although it is often easy to assume that the driver of the vehicle is at fault in a pedestrian vehicle accident, that is not always the case. The fault often boils down to who was negligent, and this can often be both the pedestrian and the driver. Negligence often boils down to who failed to exercise a reasonable standard of care under the given circumstances. If you live in a state that follows the pure contributory negligence rule, such as Maryland, North Carolina, or Virginia, being found as having any fault could keep you from receiving any type of compensation.
No matter whether you think you were partly to blame or not, if you or someone you know has been injured in a pedestrian vehicle accident, it is important that you contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. They will be able to preserve the time limits in your case. Your personal injury attorney will also make sure your case is investigated, your rights are protected, and you are fully compensated. Contact local law firms such as Dallas Laird for more information.