Pedestrian accidents

Pedestrian accidents

According to the CDC, pedestrians are more likely to die from road traffic accidents than vehicle occupants. Though surprising, a report by the Governors Highway Safety Association found that mobbing vehicles killed more than 7,485 pedestrians in 2021. As per the report, traffic deaths caused by motor vehicles increased by 13%, while those involving pedestrian deaths increased by 54%. According to New York City Department of Transportation records, among all the boroughs in New York City, the Bronx has one of the highest pedestrian fatalities and injuries rates. In 2020, there were 33 pedestrian fatalities in the Bronx.

While there are many possible reasons behind the skyrocketing pedestrian deaths, one sure cause of the increase in pedestrian deaths is carelessness. Speeding drivers are also a serious concern. Regardless, pedestrians should observe basic traffic rules and safety precautions to avoid these accidents. For instance, Bronx residents should know that those who’ve been affected in this area of New York City should enlist the help of a Bronx pedestrian accident attorney when filing for compensation for their injuries and property damage.

That said, you should keep the following do’s and don’ts in mind while on the road:

1. Do increase your visibility

According to the NHTSA, lack of visibility is among the leading causes of pedestrian accidents. If drivers can’t see you on the road, chances are they will easily hit you. Fortunately, you can increase your visibility on the road by:

  • Wearing bright clothing – drivers can easily spot your location and movements on the road if you wear bright clothing. Dark clothing easily blends with the surrounding, making it difficult for drivers and other road users to see you.
  • Using flashlights – walking with a flashlight at night or dusk also increases your visibility. However, shine your flashlight cautiously to avoid shining on motorists.
  • Walk in well-lit areas – most pedestrians prefer taking walks in specific areas. If you are in this fold, choose your walking route accordingly. It should have plenty of natural light for day walks and functional street lamps at night.
  • Walk toward traffic – if your walking path doesn’t have a sidewalk, it is best to walk toward oncoming traffic. Doing this makes it easy to see oncoming vehicles.
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2. Do cross the street only at designated crosswalks

Crossing the street on designated crosswalks is another essential safety tip often ignored by pedestrians. Drivers are primarily conditioned to pedestrians crossing the street at marked crosswalks. Most crosswalks have road signs and markings that help drivers. Attempting to cross the road in other unmarked areas can surprise motorists, especially in areas with relatively higher speed limits.

3. Do avoid distractions while walking and walk defensively

The emphasis on avoiding distractions applies to drivers and pedestrians. Unfortunately, most adults like using their phones while walking or crossing the crosswalk. You can easily walk into an oncoming car or walk onto the road unknowingly if you don’t focus. You should also avoid using earbuds or headphones if you are walking close to traffic.

Similarly, pedestrians can avoid pedestrian accidents by embracing defensive walks. This essentially means being aware of your surroundings. You should always be aware of vehicles around you. If you are walking in a parking lot, always be on the lookout, as vehicles can back up unexpectedly.

4. Do not walk close to the road while intoxicated

Most people expect only drunk drivers and intoxicated motor vehicle operators to cause pedestrian-car accidents. Surprisingly, intoxicated pedestrians could be the reason behind a traffic accident. According to the NHTSA, a third of pedestrians killed by pedestrian accidents have more than 0.08 g/dl alcohol concentration in their blood.

Drug and alcohol use impairs vision, judgment, and coordination. These impairments double or triple your risk of falls, pedestrian accidents, and other accidents. While walking is better than drunk driving, calling a cab or ridesharing is the best option.

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5. Do educate your children

Surprisingly, kids and senior adults are largely affected by pedestrian accidents and related injuries. Seniors aged above 65 are more likely to die from accident injuries than young adults. Similarly, kids make up a large percentage of fatalities following pedestrian accidents. Therefore, parents should educate their children on safe road use. Families should also watch over their old loved ones.

Endnote

Pedestrian accidents have skyrocketed in the last few years. Fortunately, these accidents are very avoidable. For starters, drivers, pedestrians, and other road users should observe basic road traffic rules. That aside, pedestrians can heighten their safety by embracing the above-mentioned safety tips.

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