At some point during the hustle and bustle of our daily routine, most of us find ourselves walking somewhere or another. Whether we’re headed to the corner market to pick up some groceries or whether we’re out walking the dog, all able-bodied people will be a pedestrian at some point in their day.
Also this year, due to restrictions put in place to fight the Coronavirus pandemic, many of us have started strolling through our neighborhoods, just to get out of the house for awhile and get some fresh air and vitamin D.
And that is a great thing, because walking is a fantastic form of exercise. In fact, a large number of benefits come with regular walking, including improved fitness, reduced risk of cancer, weight gain prevention, heart health, mood improvements, and many more.
Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents claim the lives of thousands of people each year in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, in 2017 alone there was a fatal traffic accident that claimed the life of a pedestrian every 88 minutes; almost every hour and a half of that year.
In 2018, there were a total of 6,283 pedestrian fatalities that occurred in traffic accidents, and in 2019 pedestrians accounted for 17% of all traffic deaths.
Sadly, the problem appears to be getting worse. According to numbers released by the Governors Highway Safety Association, the annual number of pedestrian fatalities in 2019 were the highest they’d been since 1988.
A number of factors are named as possible reasons why these types of accidents seem to be increasing, including a need for safer and more frequent road crossings, dangerous driving behaviors that many of us regularly engage in, such as texting while driving, and also the increase of larger vehicles on the road, which, due to their larger size, typically result in more catastrophic results in accidents with pedestrians.
The First Annual National Pedestrian Safety Month
In order to try and counteract the disturbing increase in pedestrian accidents, the NHTSA has announced that this October is the first annual National Pedestrian Safety Month. The new public safety awareness campaign seeks to improve people’s understanding of the issues surrounding pedestrian accidents, and to remind people that, safer roads are the responsibilities of drivers and of pedestrians.
The NHTSA offers the following safety tips we should all heed, whether we’re driving down the street, or walking down the sidewalk:
Pedestrian Safety Tips
- Whenever possible, use a sidewalk, don’t walk in the road if you don’t have to. If there is no sidewalk, make sure you’re facing traffic so you can see what’s coming your way.
- Stay alert! We all know that distracted driving is bad, but distracted walking can have consequences that are just as deadly.
- Use the crosswalk. Be sure to only cross the street at designated areas and if one isn’t available, be sure to cross at a well lit area so that you’ll be visible to drivers.
- Never assume that a driver can see you. Try and make eye contact with the driver, and don’t wear clothing that makes it difficult to notice you.
- Be especially vigilant around the exits and entrances to driveways, and in parking lots. Keep an eye out for a car trying to maneuver that may not be expecting you.
Driver Safety Tips
- Always be on the look out for pedestrians, especially in hard-to-see conditions. Learn to expect that there may be a pedestrian at all times.
- Take extra care at crosswalks. Slow down as you approach them, and assume that you may have to stop. Also, you should never pass a vehicle stopped at a crosswalk, there may be people passing in front of it that you can’t see.
- Also crosswalk related, make sure you stop at crosswalks, when you see pedestrians attempting to enter them. These aren’t yellow caution lights, you are required to stop if someone is waiting to cross.
- Don’t speed, especially in areas with high foot traffic or in school zones or neighborhoods. Going slower gives you more reaction time should a child run out into the street in front of your vehicle.
- Take extra care when backing up. It can often be difficult to see everything properly behind you, and a pedestrian may walk unexpectedly behind your car.
So whether you’re walking or driving, remember to do your part to help make our roads safer for everyone, no matter how they get around.
Contact Our Colorado Springs Pedestrian Accident Attorneys Today
Have you or a loved one been injured by the negligent actions of a driver? Are you concerned you won’t have the money to pay medical bills and lost expenses? If so, you need an experienced Colorado Springs pedestrian accident lawyer on your side to help you fight for justice.
Contact the dedicated attorneys at the Green Law Firm, P.C. today by calling (719) 694-8515, or by filling out the contact form on this page, to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation and discuss your case.