How to Prevent Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents are very common occurrences that can happen to anyone. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reportsthat almost 6,000 pedestrians were killed in a crash involving a passenger vehicle in 2017 alone. In fact, pedestrians are 1.5 times more likelyto be killed in a crash than an occupant of the vehicle involved.
Pedestrians don’t have the protection of a vehicle when an accident happens , so it is extremely important that all drivers remain aware of them on the roads. Here are some tips on how you can avoid pedestrian accidents:
1. Follow the Speed Limit
Speeding is one of the top causes of pedestrian-related accidents. The faster you go, the worse the impact will be should you hit someone. As a driver, it is your responsibility to operate your vehicle at a safe and reasonable speed. This means that you should maintain the posted speed limit in normal driving conditions. During inclement weather, you should reduce your speed because wet or icy roads can make it more difficult to control your vehicle should you need to make a sudden stop.
2. Maintain Visibility
After nightfall, vehicles can be harder for pedestrians to see, especially when exterior lighting is poor. If you are driving after sunset, your headlights should be on. Additionally, you should use your lights when it is raining or foggy outside because these conditions tend to compromise visibility. If you happen to be the pedestrian, it is ideal to wear white or reflective clothing after dark to ensure drivers can see you. You might also consider traveling with a flashlight to enhance your visibility.
3. Understand the Right-of-Way
According to the California Vehicle Code 21950, drivers must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians at intersections regardless if they are crossing in a marked or an unmarked crosswalk. With that said, pedestrians also have the responsibility to exercise due care when crossing. If a pedestrian suddenly jumps into approaching traffic, they are not using due care and could actually be held responsible in the event of an accident. Alternatively, if the pedestrian was using due care and a driver failed to yield to them, then the driver could be held liable. A lawyer can help you determine who is at fault in an accident involving a pedestrian.
4. Avoid Distractions
Driving is not the time to multitask. Pedestrians can be easier to overlook than automobiles, so it is crucial that drivers be aware of the road and surrounding conditions at all times. You should avoid talking or texting on your phone while driving. The National Safety Councilreports that cell phone usage accounts for approximately 27 percent of all vehicular crashes. This number is easily preventable by keeping your attention where it belongs—on the road.
It is also a good idea to avoid eating or drinking, changing radio stations, and excessively talking with other occupants in the vehicle while you’re driving. While these things might seem like no big deal, they can actually distract you from driving safely. According to the NHTSA, distracted drivingresulted in 3,450 deaths in 2016 alone.
Pedestrians have a responsibility to avoid distractions as well. The National Safety Council also notes that accidents caused by distracted walkingare becoming more and more common. Pedestrians should take these extra measures to ensure their safety around vehicles:
- Avoid using cell phones.
- Wear reflective garments.
- Use designated crosswalks.
- Walk with a group of people.
- Use sidewalks when available.
- Look in all directions before crossing the street.
- Avoid wearing headphones.
- Don’t walk while intoxicated.
5. Look Out for Jaywalkers
As a driver, you probably already know that not all pedestrians will utilize the crosswalks at an intersection. These people may unlawfully cross streets with no regard to traffic, which is considered jaywalking. To avoid an accident with a jaywalker, you should stay alert for people who might cross illegally. Always keep your eyes on the road and drive carefully in low lighting conditions so that you will be able to catch sight of jaywalkers before it’s too late.
Types of Pedestrian Accident Injuries
The types of injuries a pedestrian might experience in a collision vary widely. They include:
- Bruises and lacerations
- Limb dislocations or joint sprains
- Fractured or broken bones
- Internal bleeding or organ damage
- Emotional trauma
- Spinal injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
While some injuries are obvious, others might not show signs right away, so you (and anyone else involved) should seek immediate medical treatment after the accident. Be sure to obtain copies of all tests and imaging done as well as the associated medical bills. These documents will be essential should you decide to pursue a personal injury claim.
Should You Call the Police After a Pedestrian Accident?
Yes, the police should be called immediately in the event of an accident. If you are too injured to make the call yourself, ask a witness to do so. Often, the best account of an accident is made directly after one, which makes a police report of the incident critical evidence that your lawyer could use to seek compensation from the other party involved.
Get Legal Representation
If you are a pedestrian who has been injured by a driver, it is imperative to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. At the Law Office of Kyle W. Jones, we work hard on behalf of our clients to achieve maximum compensation. We will review the specific details of your case and let you know if you should move forward with a personal injury claim. If so, we can work to get you compensation for:
- Any medical bills incurred by your injuries
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages and/or future lost income
Our goal is to help each of our clients get fair compensation so that they can finally move forward from their accident.
Call Our Office Today
Do you need a Bakersfield personal injury lawyer? Contact the Law Office of Kyle W. Jones today to schedule your free initial consultation.