A study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that about 16% of annual traffic deaths involve pedestrians. And contrary to what most people believe, pedestrian accidents are not limited to just big cities. Even an accident in the neighborhood street involving a pedestrian can result in injuries or death. The best way to reduce pedestrian accidents is by both the driver and the pedestrians being alert on the road.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Most pedestrian accidents happen due to a driver’s negligence. Here are some typical negligent behaviors that can put a pedestrian at risk.
- Distracted driving
- Overspeed in a residential area
- Drunk driving
- Not paying attention at the intersection
- Driving under the influence of drugs
NHTSA also reported that 73% of pedestrian accidents happened in urban settings, and 70% of those accidents occurred late in the evening when it was hard to see. Here are a few helpful suggestions that can help reduce the number of pedestrian accidents.
Never Assume a Driver Has Seen You
Distracted driving can prevent a driver from seeing pedestrians walking on the road. Therefore, do not assume, simply because it is your right to cross, the driver is aware. Before crossing, ensure the motorist has seen you first.
Pedestrians Should Stick to Designated Crossing Sections
To ensure drivers and pedestrians remain safe, pedestrians should use the designated crossing areas. This is an area where the drivers can easily anticipate pedestrians crossing roads, hence slowing down or stopping. If you cross the road suddenly in an undesignated area, the chances of being hit by a car are much greater.
Be Observant of Your Surrounding
While the driver approaching you might have seen you, that does not mean other vehicles approaching have seen you as well. It is not uncommon for approaching drivers to try and drive around a vehicle that has stopped. Watch out for other drivers on the road and ensure there is no danger as you cross the road.
Keep Your Ears Open
Besides vehicles, pedestrians should also watch out for other road users like motorbikes and cyclists. While some usually notify pedestrians as they approach, others do not.
Handling a Pedestrian Accident Claim
If a driver hits you, the first thing you should do is get medical attention. Even when you assume the injuries are minor or there are none, you should still get examined. A lot of injuries from car accidents do not appear serious at first till way later. Getting cleared by the doctor ensures your health is not at risk. Besides that, you also need a medical report linking your injuries to the accident. The driver at fault needs to be held responsible for the damage caused. This is where you need to contact a pedestrian accident lawyer. They will work to ensure you are fully compensated for the losses suffered.
If you choose to file a claim on your own, it can be hard to know the compensation you deserve for the accident. An experienced personal injury attorney ensures this does not happen. As compensation for your injuries, you may be entitled to the following financial relief:
- Medical expenses
- Ambulance rides
- Loss of income
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Long term disability
- Punitive damages
- Loss of enjoyment
In most cases, you will be dealing with an insurance company. Therefore, before accepting any offer or signing any papers, talk to your lawyer first. They can advise you on whether the compensation is fair or if you should negotiate for more.
A lot of pedestrian accidents can be avoided. However, in the event that you are injured because a driver was negligent, seek legal counsel so that you are awarded fair compensation for the losses suffered.