The Governors Highway Safety Association reported that 6,277 pedestrians in the United States died in 2018, which has been the highest number of roadway accidents since 1990. According to the report, an increased traffic exposure, substandard urban planning practices, risky and unethical driving behavior, and an increase in the presence of sports utility vehicles (SUVs) are the possible factors that have led to the upsurge of pedestrian accidents and deaths.
Generally, roadways can be a high-risk environment, especially for those traveling on foot. Accidents are commonplace, but the risks can be reduced. Such tragedies can be avoided by learning about the risks that exist on the roadways, as well as the steps that you can take should you find yourself in an unfortunate situation.
Understanding your rights as a pedestrian during a traffic accident, for example, is important, as is your right to call a lawyer. It’s also crucial to know which places are more susceptible to accidents – perhaps just as crucial as having background knowledge on road safety and knowing how to get a pedestrian accident lawyer. Everett, for instance, is a scene for a significant number of pedestrian accidents.
Preventing Pedestrian Accidents
You, as a pedestrian, are in a more vulnerable position than the passengers in a car. Pedestrians have 1.5 times more likely to be killed in a car crash than vehicle passengers, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Safety precautions must be fully implemented to keep roadways safe for the entire community. They must be observed by drivers and pedestrians alike. Listed here are some ways to reduce the likelihood of pedestrian accidents:
Be aware of approaching pedestrians. Pay close attention to the road and be mindful of what you might run into. Some pedestrians, especially children and people with disabilities, may not be completely aware of approaching vehicles, so it is your responsibility as a driver to be on the lookout. Also, take extra caution when driving at night or in bad weather; your visibility and control may be impaired during these conditions. Lastly, do not drive under the influence of illegal substances or alcohol. These severely impair your ability to think clearly, and you risk endangering your life and the lives of others.
Observe road signs and signals and make sure to obey all other rules of the road. It’s important to be always alert when on the road, especially when crossing streets. Avoid using any electronic devices that may get in the way of that. As much as possible, cross streets at crosswalks or intersections because these are where drivers expect pedestrians. On the road, predictability is a good way to prevent accidents. It is also crucial that you remain visible at all times, especially during hazardous conditions. Wear reflective materials or use flashlights when walking at night or during bad weather.
What to Do When Hit by a Car
Knowing what to do when caught in an accident will be in your best interest. If you are conscious and able, here are the steps that you should take:
- Keep yourself out of the street if you’re able. Move to the nearest sidewalk to avoid risking yourself further. Remain calm as you do so and assess the situation.
- Hold the driver at the scene, as well as any potential witnesses. The driver may be hesitant to remain at the scene, but you must calmly advise them to do so. Gather as much information as you can should they refuse to comply. Also, ask witnesses to remain at the scene because they are going to be of the utmost importance in possible legal proceedings. Gather contact information and pictures to support your case.
- Contact the police. As soon as possible, file an accident report; this will be important in legal cases and insurance purposes.
- Ensure that the police report is accurate. This will be crucial in legal cases. Discuss your story when the police arrive. Give as much detail as you can, and make sure to get the contact information of everyone involved. The police report should also have the statements from the driver and witnesses.
- Seek medical treatment at the earliest opportunity, especially when in serious pain. If you think that you may have an injury, ask someone to call an ambulance to take you to the nearest hospital. Timely diagnosis and treatment will provide you with medical records, further supporting evidence for your legal case.
- Get a lawyer and open an insurance claim. You will have every right to contact the driver’s insurance provider to open a claim. Just make sure that you provide the necessary information. A lawyer should discuss any further information.
Having an eye out for safety is vital, whether driving or traveling on foot. Car-related accidents are unpredictable, but there are ways to prevent them from happening. You have to know what to do to avoid them, but should things turn out for the worse, know your rights.