Pedestrians get very little respect or consideration from drivers and the proof is in the numbers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 4,700 pedestrians are killed in an auto accident annually – that’s just over 14% of all road deaths. The ones who do survive often live with life altering injuries.
Fortunately, there are precautions pedestrians can take to avoid being another victim. Below we take a look at five vital tips for pedestrian safety:
Use the Sidewalk
This one may seem fairly obvious but it’s the most proper way to start. Sidewalks are put in place to give pedestrians a safe, designated space from the road and all its traffic. May as well use it! If a sidewalk is not available and you must walk, keep a safe distance from the road and walk facing traffic for increased awareness.
Mind the Crosswalk
Over 4,500 pedestrians are killed annually for jaywalking. Crosswalks are put in place so that pedestrians can have a calculated amount of time to safely cross in even the most dangerous of situations. Whenever available, use the nearest crosswalk and closely monitor WALK / DO NOT WALK signage. And of course, always look both ways.
Keep an Ear Out
Headphones are absolutely essential for pedestrians be it for sport or casual walking. We all like to be entertained as we go along regardless of our method of transportation. Being mindful of one’s surroundings is absolutely vital as a pedestrian. If you must use headphone, keep them at a volume that allows you to be aware of your surroundings. If using ear buds: when in doubt, keep an ear out!
The majority of pedestrian accidents tend to occur at night. While drivers should be aware of their surroundings, it’s also absolutely vital that a pedestrian remains visible at all times. If you must walk at night, take care to wear vibrant clothing that can be seen by oncoming traffic. Many sports and supply stores also offer reflective devices, lights, and other accessories for pedestrian safety.
Don’t Text and Walk
You’re probably used to hearing about texting and driving, but did you know that texting and walking also affects thousands each year? While it is possible to use a cellphone and walk at the same time, it can make a pedestrian acutely less aware of their surroundings. This could lead to walking into traffic, tripping and falling over surrounding items, bumping into an unknown obstacle and more. If needed, take the time to pause your walk (if safe) and respond to any messages away from any obstacles before continuing your walk.
Despite our best efforts and all the safety precautions, sometimes they’re only as good as the precautions taken by others. Just because pedestrians aren’t respected it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be. If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and more.
The experienced personal injury lawyers at Bramnick, Rodriguez, Grabas, Arnold & Mangan, LLC can fight for you. We are thoroughly experienced in handling pedestrian accidents and personal injury cases in New Jersey. Contact us for your free consultation today!