Safety Tips for Pedestrian Safety Month
As vehicles become safer and technology continues to improve, our roads are hopefully on their way to become safer. Unfortunately, this has not been the case for pedestrians in recent years. Despite many advancements in vehicle safety technology, roads continue to pose a serious danger for pedestrians. In 2016, 867 pedestrians were killed on California roadways, and another 14,000 were injured. And nationally, pedestrian fatalities have continued to increase faster than any other type of traffic-related death. Between 2008 and 2016, pedestrian deaths increased 46%, reaching nearly 6,000 in 2016.
Why has there been such a sharp increase in pedestrian deaths? According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the problem can be attributed to a number of factors. An increase of SUVs on the roads is part of it, as SUVs and other vehicles with significant horsepower are involved in the majority of pedestrian fatalities. The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) reports that the top three causes of pedestrian fatalities are speeding, failure to yield and distraction. Driver distraction is certainly a significant cause of accidents, but the GHSA says that pedestrian distraction is also a contributor.
September is Pedestrian Safety Month. Here are tips for pedestrians and for drivers to ensure the safety of pedestrians.
10 tips for pedestrians to ensure their safety on the road:
- Cross the street at crosswalks and intersections only. The safest place to cross is a crosswalk with a stop sign or traffic signal.
- Walk on sidewalks whenever possible. If no sidewalk is available, walk on the far side of the road facing traffic, to ensure visibility to drivers.
- Do not walk along highways or other roads where pedestrians are prohibited.
- Stay visible. Walk in well-lit areas, especially when crossing the street. At night, wear light colors and/or reflective clothing so drivers can see you.
- Before crossing the street, make eye contact with drivers to ensure they see you.
- Look both ways before crossing, even at a green light or “WALK” signal. Unfortunately, drivers can be distracted and fail to notice pedestrians, even if they are crossing the street legally and have the right of way.
- Understand the rules of the road and follow them.
- Eliminate distractions. Put your phone away when walking, especially when crossing the street.
- Avoid wearing headphones. You want to be able to hear what’s going on around you.
- Don’t drink and walk. In 34% of fatal pedestrian accidents involving alcohol, the pedestrian was the one under the influence.
10 tips for drivers to ensure the safety of pedestrians:
- Always be on the lookout for pedestrians. Just as pedestrians should not assume drivers will see them and give them the right of way, drivers should also not assume pedestrians will always follow the rules of the road.
- Drive the speed limit—don’t speed. Speeding is one of the top causes of pedestrian fatalities. That includes exceeding the speed limit, as well as driving too fast for conditions.
- Always yield to pedestrians at a crosswalk.
- Slow down when approaching a crosswalk, and always be prepared to stop.
- Stay focused on the road. Not only is using a handheld device while driving dangerous, but it is also against the law in California. Save your texts and status updates for another time.
- Never drive under the influence. Drunk driving resulted in 10,497 deaths in the U.S. in 2016.
- Drive with extra caution when there is limited visibility. Most pedestrian deaths occur between 6 p.m. and midnight, so it is crucial to remain vigilant at night. Drivers should also be especially careful in adverse weather.
- Check for pedestrians when pulling into and out of driveways and parking lots.
- Be patient when pedestrians are crossing the street. Wait until they are completely out of the crosswalk before proceeding, and never try to pass a vehicle that is stopped at a crosswalk.
- Slow down and pay special attention when driving in neighborhoods and school zones.
“Unfortunately, the roads have not gotten safer for pedestrians in recent years. Drivers and pedestrians must all be vigilant and work toward safety on the road,” said Attorney Walter Clark, founder of Walter Clark Legal Group.
Our firm has been handling personal injury cases throughout the California Low Desert and High Desert communities for over 30 years. With a 95% success rate, the California personal injury attorneys at Walter Clark Legal Group will fight to hold those responsible for your loss accountable and win compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you have been injured in an auto accident and want to discuss your legal options, contact us today at (760) 777-7777 for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer. We have offices in Indio, Rancho Mirage, Victorville, El Centro, and Yucca Valley, and represent clients through the entire California Low Desert and High Desert communities.
DISCLAIMER: The Walter Clark Legal Group blog is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal or medical advice. References to laws are based on general legal practices and vary by location. Information reported comes from secondary news sources. We do handle these types of cases, but whether or not the individuals and/or loved ones involved in these accidents choose to be represented by a law firm is a personal choice we respect. Should you find any of the information incorrect, we welcome you to contact us with corrections.