Avoiding Pedestrian Accidents

Accidents involving pedestrians are frequently disabling or fatal to the pedestrians involved. Although most of the sorts of accidents occur when a pedestrian is sharing the road or next to the road in an unexpected way, such as someone walking along the shoulder of a highway, they can occur on sidewalks, at intersections and anywhere else where pedestrians and motor vehicles share space.

Individuals at the greatest risk for pedestrian accidents are senior citizens over the age of 65 and the inhabitants of urban areas, but most pedestrian accident fatalities occur on rural roads, perhaps because it is more common for vehicles to speed along familiar and low-traffic country lanes.

Most pedestrian accidents occur at intersections were no traffic signals are present or functioning. When pedestrians behave unpredictably such as crossing against the flow of traffic or between intersections there is an increased risk of an accident. Additionally, most pedestrian occur at times of limited visibility due to low light conditions or weather. Finally, nearly half of all pedestrian accidents involve alcohol abuse, considered negligence, either on the part of the pedestrian or the driver of motor vehicle involved.

Pedestrians wishing to avoid accidents may follow some basic guidelines for their prevention. Pedestrians should remain visible by wearing bright or reflective clothing or carrying lights to warn drivers of their presence. Pedestrians must always be careful and attentive when crossing any intersection, especially intersections with no traffic signals or signs. Walkers must avoid crossing roads in areas where they do not have the right of way and eschew running into or playing on the road, and those who must walk on roads where there are no sidewalks should always walk against traffic to see oncoming cars and take measures to avoid being hit. These actions will dramatically reduce the risk of a pedestrian accident.

Some pedestrian accidents are partially caused by faulty road design, broken traffic signals, or road hazards, and all pedestrians need to remain aware and alert to their surroundings. Unfortunately it is important to understand that despite all the measures pedestrians may take, the greatest contributing factor to pedestrian accidents is driver negligence. Motor vehicle driver’s failure to use turn signals, obey stop signs and red lights or to obey posted speed limits are the cause of most pedestrian accidents so all pedestrians to walk defensively and assume that drivers are not taking proper care for their safety.

Anyone involved in a pedestrian accident should contact an accident lawyer as soon as possible to avoid certain statute of limitations that may apply.