Now that the sun is out, people are walking on the streets on a regular basis. Having established that pedestrians are most likely to get into accidents during the summer, it’s very important that you pay attention while walking on the streets.
According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 4, 400 pedestrians were killed in 2011 and 69, 000 were injured. In fact, a report by Smart Growth America indicates that pedestrian accidents made up 15% of all traffic fatalities in 2012.
Our communities are striving to make the roads safe again for pedestrians and some of the measures they’ve taken include building innovative paths and bridges, safer intersections and coming up with awareness programs.
Despite the effort to make the roads safer for pedestrians, there are still roads that haven’t been developed properly to be safe for pedestrians.
Who Is At A Greater Risk Of Getting Into A Pedestrian Accident?
Certain groups in our community are at a higher risk of getting into pedestrian accidents and they include:
- Senior citizens
People aged 65 years and above are at a higher risk of getting into a pedestrian accident. In 2012, 20% of pedestrian accident fatalities involved senior citizens. They also accounted for 9% of all pedestrian accidents.
More than one in every five children who were aged between 5-15 years suffered a fatal pedestrian accident in 2012.
- Alcohol impaired pedestrians
Our roads are already risky and walking on them while drunk only increases the risk of getting into a serious accident. Of all pedestrian related accidents, 48% of them involved alcohol impaired pedestrians or drivers. 34% of pedestrians involved in accidents in 2012 a blood alcohol concentration higher than 0.8grams.
- People who work near roadways
Traffic police officers and constructions workers are at risk of getting into pedestrian accidents especially in areas where there is a lot of traffic.
Are There Areas Where Pedestrians Are Likely To Be Hit By Cars?
Yes, there are specific areas where the risk of getting into a pedestrian accident is much higher than others. They include:
- Heavy traffic conditions, low light and poor weather
- Parking lots or near driveways
- Marked crosswalks and at intersections
Here’s more information about which times are most dangerous for pedestrians to walk.
How Pedestrians Can Avoid Getting Into Accidents
The reason why most pedestrian accidents are fatal is because the pedestrian fully absorbs the impact of the crash. Pedestrians are unprotected while they are on foot. There are no airbags or seat belts. So these safety tips should help keep you safe:
- Cross the street on marked cross walks
Drivers expect to see pedestrians on crosswalks. Running across the road might seem like a great idea because it will save you a minute or so. But if you have to take a detour to the ER, it won’t save you time you time, will it?
- Always be alert
Don’t walk while texting, calling, emailing or engaging in any other type of distraction while you are on the road. You need to watch out for motorcycles, bicycles, and cars.
- Use the sidewalks
It’s much safer to walk on the sidewalk than to squeeze yourself in between cars. If there’s no sidewalk, you should walk facing the direction traffic is coming from. And make sure you stay as far away from traffic as possible.
- Make eye contact
Unfortunately many pedestrians assume that the driver sees them. But that isn’t always the case especially when the driver is waiting to make a turn, exiting a driveway or backing up.
If You Are Involved In A Pedestrian Accident
When you get into a pedestrian accident, the driver might try to blame you for the accident by accusing you of negligence. There are, however, factors that can contribute to an accident including:
- Driver negligence
- Distracted behavior on the pedestrian’s part such as texting while walking
- Drivers over speeding
- Darting in front of a vehicle
- Ignoring the walk signal at intersections
- Driver’s disobeying traffic rules
- Driving under influence of alcohol
If you have been involved in a pedestrian accident, you should:
- Immediately contact the police
- Get names and contact information of witnesses
- Avoid making any statements to anyone without a lawyer present.
- Get prompt medical attention if you need it but if you don’t, stay at the scene of the accident
If you are partially at fault for the accident, you should be prepared to have your eventual recoevery reduced. So if you were 50% responsible for the accident, the amount you recover in damages will be reduced by 50%. However, we need to stress that you shouldn’t admit to anything until you talk to a lawyer.
You should file for a lawsuit as soon as possible to avoid missing the deadline for filing your case. There is something called “statute of limitations” which means that if you don’t file a lawsuit within a specific period of time, your claims will be dismissed. You should talk to a lawyer as soon as possible so that they can advice you on how to file a lawsuit.
Retain An Attorney
You need to retain an attorney because there will be questions about comparative negligence and fault. When meeting up with your lawyer, you should have copies of your medical bills and medical reports from your doctor to demonstrate the seriousness and extent of your injuries.
You should also carry police reports because they contain information surrounding the accident. If you have any photos of the scene of the accident you should also present them. a letter from your employer showing that you missed work due to your injuries could also be helpful in showing lost wages.
Laws regarding pedestrian accidents can be very complicated and you need someone who knows the law inside out. At our Kevin P Landry Law Offices we have an expert team of personal injury lawyers. We understand the intricacies of Rhode Island and Massachusetts law as they pertain to car and pedestrian accidents. You can count on us to fight for you.
Contact us at (800) 200-7752 for a free initial consultation.