Every year, thousands of pedestrians are struck and killed by motorists in this country. We all think that we’re too careful for this to happen to us. However, even when pedestrians obey traffic signals and only cross the street in designated crosswalks, there’s no guarantee that a driver won’t hit them.
Too often, drivers are busy watching for other vehicles (or not paying enough attention at all) and don’t see a pedestrian in the road until it’s too late to avoid hitting them. Even though drivers are supposed to yield to pedestrians, don’t assume that they will.
Pedestrians can take steps to minimize their risk of being struck by remembering to do the following if you’re walking on or near a road:
- At a crosswalk with a light, never cross unless you have the “walk” sign, even if there don’t appear to be any vehicles nearby.
- Don’t engage in “distracted walking.” That means, don’t use your phone to talk or text, and don’t even look at it. Don’t wear earbuds that can prevent you from hearing what’s going on around you. Keep your eyes and ears alert to your surroundings.
- Only cross the street at marked crosswalks. If there isn’t one at an intersection where you need to cross, make sure you have an unobstructed view of oncoming traffic before you step into the road.
- If there’s no sidewalk available and you must walk in the street, walk on the side where you’re facing oncoming traffic.
- Before you cross any street, even if you have a “walk” signal, look to the left, then the right, and then left again. If a driver is moving in your direction, make eye contact with them to be sure they see you and are going to stop.
- Don’t walk if you’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It may seem like it’s safer to walk home rather than get behind the wheel after you’ve been drinking or getting high. However, these things can impact your judgment, balance and sense of direction — all of which can lead to a deadly accident.
If you’ve been injured or a loved one has been killed in a vehicle-pedestrian crash, it’s essential to get the compensation you need and deserve. An experienced attorney can help you.