Pedestrian accidents cause thousands of personal injuries every year. Sadly, pedestrians were in a group of road users who saw an increase in fatalities in the United States in 2013 with 4,735 deaths. Like bicyclists, pedestrians are very vulnerable to injuries in crashes because they do not have the protection of a vehicle.
Everyone is a pedestrian but teenagers are especially vulnerable to pedestrian accidents because they are more likely to be getting from place to place without a car. They may also not yet be drivers and therefore lack an understanding of the rules of the road. Pedestrian safety requires the same critical thinking skills and understanding of traffic rules as driving a car. Parents can help to prepare their teens to be good pedestrians by reminding them to walk on sidewalks and always stop and look left, right then left again before crossing.
Top pedestrian safety tips to prevent pedestrian accidents
Be as visible as possible:
- Wear brightly colored clothes in daylight and reflective gear in the dark.
- Use lights when walking at night or in poor weather –white light in the front, red in the rear like a car.
- Pre-plan your route by choosing the safest option. Look for routes with sidewalks, crosswalks, good lighting and less traffic.
Know the rules of the road:
- Grab a copy of road-rules from your local DMV and go over them with your teen before they begin to get around town on their own.
Follow pedestrian rules and laws (they are meant to keep you safe!):
- Always walk on sidewalks. If there are no sidewalks then walk as far to the left of the road as you can while facing traffic.
- Before crossing a driveway, parking lot or road look left, right then left again.
- Always cross roads at intersections, marked crosswalks or corners.
- Activate or wait for crosswalk signals before crossing.
Use defensive walking skills:
- Assume drivers don’t see you until you make eye contact or the driver waves/nods at you to cross.
- Give drivers plenty of time to stop, especially in poor weather conditions that could cause their tires to skid.
- Never begin crossing an intersection until all vehicles have come to a complete stop.
- You may need to jump out of the way if a vehicle doesn’t see you.
- When crossing a driveway or walking through a parking lot, look for signs that a vehicle is about to or is backing up such as white back-up lights lit up.
Be focused, aware and alert:
- Avoid texting or listening to music on your phone as these activities take your eyes, ears and focus off the road and traffic.
- Watch out for potential problems such as a car pulling out of a spot without due care.
Prepare yourself by knowing the common causes of pedestrian-vehicle accidents:
- If you are aware of the common causes of pedestrian accidents, you are more likely to adjust your pedestrian behavior and avoid a dangerous situation.
If you or a loved one is dealing with an accident or injury, you have enough on your plate. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the justice and compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring accident attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!