According to a 2017 article on NPR, pedestrian fatalities increased 11 percent in 2016, totaling nearly 6,000. This number is alarming not only because it’s the largest single-year increase in pedestrian fatalities ever recorded, but also because we haven’t seen this many pedestrian fatalities in over two decades.
A number of things are contributing to this increase in pedestrian fatalities such as the increasingly ubiquitous use of cell phones—which leads to distracted driving and distracted walking—as well as lowered gas prices, which means more cars on the road.
To protect you and your loved ones from injuries or pedestrian fatalities, you should keep the following pedestrian safety tips in mind the next time you’re walking around town.
To prevent a pedestrian/ car accident, you need to stay visible to oncoming traffic. To do this, you’ll need to wear light-colored clothing if you’re walking at night and stay well-lit if you’re crossing the street.
Never assume that the car sees you and will stop. Make eye contact with the driver if possible before crossing the street to ensure that they see you.
KNOW THE TRAFFIC RULES
Just as you would when you’re driving, it’s important to obey all the traffic laws when you’re a pedestrian. This will ensure your safety as you make your way from one side of the street to the other, and to avoid a car having to hit the brakes at the last minute to avoid hitting you.
WALK WHERE IT’S APPROPRIATE TO WALK
There are designated places for pedestrians to walk, so it’s important to use those and only those whenever possible. If you’re crossing the street, use a crosswalk. If there’s no crosswalk available, find a well-lit area to cross and ensure that the traffic is clear before you go.
Also, be sure to avoid walking in areas like highways or anywhere else that there are signs that indicate no pedestrians.
DON’T WALK DISTRACTED
Pedestrians may think that it’s the motorist’s responsibility to look out for them, but the pedestrian is also responsible for walking in a non-distracted manner. Don’t walk across the street while staring at your cell phone because you might be unable to see if there are cars coming or if the walk sign isn’t lit up.
Also, be sure to avoid walking if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, which can impair your vision and judgment.
Unfortunately, sometimes even when you follow all the proper pedestrian safety protocols, you can still get injured by a negligent driver. If you’ve been seriously injured in a pedestrian/motor vehicle accident in Georgia, you might need professional legal counsel. To determine if legal action is in your best interest, CLICK HERE to CONTACT US, or call Fry | Goehring, personal injury Trial Attorneys, at (404) 948-3571.