Pedestrian accidents are, unfortunately, on the rise. The Governors Highway Safety Administration stated that there were 6590 pedestrian fatalities in 2019, a 5% increase over 2018’s numbers. That is a 60% increase in fatalities since 2009.
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<a href="https://www.yourlawyer.com/library/us-pedestrian-accident-fatalities/"><img src="https://www.yourlawyer.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/most-likely-get-killed-pedestrian-us-8.png" alt="Where You're Most Likely to Get Killed as a Pedestrian in the United States - YourLawyer.com - Infographic" title="Where You're Most Likely to Get Killed as a Pedestrian in the United States - YourLawyer.com - Infographic"></a><br><a href="https://www.yourlawyer.com" alt="YourLawyer.com" title="YourLawyer.com">By YourLawyer.com</a>
What are the main causes of pedestrian accidents?
Unsafe driving behaviors, such as speeding, distracted and drowsy driving, and alcohol impairment by the driver and/or pedestrian, were involved in nearly half of pedestrian fatalities. Other significant factors are talking and texting on cell phones, eating while driving, programming a GPS, putting on makeup, and other behaviors that take the driver’s eyes away from the road.
Where do most pedestrian fatalities happen?
Most pedestrian deaths occur in urban settings, on the open road (rather than at intersections), and at night. It is especially important to be mindful during this time.
How You Can Avoid Accidents as a Pedestrian
Accidents are just that – accidents! While they are not 100% avoidable, there are measures you can take to help protect yourself, your family and loved ones, and your community. Here are some key pedestrian safety tips to follow while you are out and about:
- Be predictable. Obey the rules of the road and keep an eye out for signs and signals.
- Walk on sidewalks whenever possible.
- If a sidewalk is not available, walk facing traffic and as far away from traffic as possible.
- Stay alert! Keep your eye road. Avoid being distracted by electronic devices and do not listen to music too loudly.
- When possible, cross only at crosswalks and intersections where drivers expect to see and stop for pedestrians. Always look both ways and be mindful of cars turning left or right.
- If a crosswalk or intersection is not available, search for a well-lit area where you have a 360 degree view of traffic. Wait for a pause in traffic that offers enough time to cross quickly and safely; keep looking for traffic as you cross.
- Never assume that a driver has spotted you. Make eye contact as drivers approach to better ensure they acknowledge your presence.
- Always be visible. Wear bright colors during the day. Wear reflective material and carry a flashlight at night.
- Watch for cars moving from or into driveways, or backing up in parking lots. Keep an eye out for brake lights.
- Do not walk under the influence of alcohol or drugs. You need your full function and judgment while walking.
9 Driving Safety Tips to Protect Pedestrians
As drivers, it is our responsibility to operate vehicles in a safe, alert, and respectful way. Here are 9 driving safety tips that can help pedestrians be safe as they enjoy the community infrastructure:
- Look out for pedestrians everywhere and at all times. Safety is a responsibility shared by everyone on the road.
- Be extra cautious when conditions are less than ideal, including nighttime and bad weather.
- Slow down and be ready to stop when approaching a crosswalk.
- Yield to pedestrians using crosswalks. Stop a decent distance away from the crosswalk so that other vehicles can see the pedestrians and can stop as well.
- Never pass a vehicle that has stopped at a crosswalk. There may be people you have not spotted.
- Never drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Obey the speed limit, especially in areas where people are out and about.
- Obey slower speed limits in school zones and neighborhoods. Acknowledge “Children at Play” signs.
- Be cautious when backing up – you never know when a pedestrian may pass behind you.