As a motor vehicle driver, you know you’ll always be in close proximity to other vehicles. While this is true, don’t forget that pedestrians are everywhere as well.
As a walker, runner or biker, it’s easy to lose track of the dangers of sharing the roads and streets with cars, trucks, buses and motorcycles.
A simple mistake can lead to a pedestrian accident that results in serious injury or even death. This is why all drivers and pedestrians need to be extremely careful on the road.
Ingredients in the disaster recipe
Here are some of the mistakes a driver can make that can cause a pedestrian-vehicle accident:
- Distracted driving: Behaviors like talking on the phone, texting and changing the radio station increase the risk of an accident.
- Speeding: When a driver is speeding, it’s more difficult to stop their vehicle in time, which can mean disaster when a pedestrian is crossing the road.
- Reckless driving: This takes on many forms, such as illegally passing another vehicle, neglecting to use turn signals and disobeying traffic signals and signs.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs: This is a top cause of all types of accidents, including those in which a vehicle strikes a pedestrian.
- Disregard for traffic conditions: When conditions change, such as during rush hour in a busy city, drivers must adjust their approach.
- Disregard for weather conditions: During the summer months, sun glare can come into play. During the winter, snow and ice can make it more difficult to control a motor vehicle.
Keeping yourself safe as a pedestrian
Even though you don’t have control over the drivers on the road, you can make some changes to your approach as a pedestrian:
- Find a crosswalk before you attempt to make your way to the other side of the road.
- Obey all “walk” and “don’t walk” signals at intersections.
- Never dart into traffic or emerge suddenly from in between cars.
- Make eye contact with approaching drivers.
- Walk on the sidewalk (as far away from traffic as possible).
Doing these things is no guarantee you’ll never be part of a pedestrian-car accident, but each tip can improve your safety.
If you are injured
If you find yourself struck by a motor vehicle, you can do the following:
- Call for help and stay where you are until it arrives.
- Receive immediate medical attention, even if you feel OK.
- Follow the treatment plan outlined by your medical team.
- Contact your insurance company to determine if you have coverage for your injuries and other damages.
- Learn more about the accident, including the cause and who was at fault.
- Determine the best way to protect your legal rights.