Drivers and pedestrians have to share the road, but it’s unfortunate that drivers aren’t always behaving in a responsible way when it comes to sharing. There have been some strides towards making pedestrians safer on the road like redesigned roadways, but this can often be confusing for drivers as well as pedestrians.
Safety Tips for Sharing the Roadway as a Driver
While drivers know that they shouldn’t drink and drive, many don’t understand that driving while distracted can be just as dangerous.
Posted Speed Limits
It’s vital that drivers always follow the posted speed limits especially near school zones. The speed limits are there to keep pedestrians safe from speeding drivers.
At night, during bad weather and in poorly lit areas, visibility can be a concern. It’s hard for both pedestrians and drivers to see each other on the roads. As soon as it becomes dark, make sure you’re keeping your lights on and using your signals properly.
Crosswalks and Pedestrians
Yield to people who are walking in the crosswalks. Allow enough room for people to cross when you’re stopped. Don’t pass drivers who have stopped to allow a pedestrian across the road.
Safety Tips for Pedestrians on the Road
While drivers have the bulk of the responsibility for driving safely, there’s a burden on the pedestrian to practice safe traveling too. In fact, your safety on the road could influence whether you’re entitled to compensation in an accident with a driver.
When crossing the road, it’s important to be in a driver’s eyesight. If you plan on crossing, make sure the driver can’t miss you. Light clothing or reflective markers can help if you plan on walking in low light conditions.
Walk in Places that are Safe for Pedestrians
Never dart out from between parked cars. The driver might not see you, and it can lead to serious accidents. Use crosswalks and stay on sidewalks to avoid being hit by a vehicle.
Remove your headphones and stay off your smartphone or handheld device. Staying alert to things around you is vital for walking if you want to stay safe.
Special Care for Children
Most of the children who were in accidents were walking to school and were between 4 and 7 years old. As a parent, it’s vital that they understand how to walk to school properly, but much of the responsibility falls on the driver.
Drivers should never block a crosswalk or pass a bus that has its blinkers flashing. When a crossing guard has a stop sign raised, it should be obeyed. A driver should be obeying the speed limit and being incredibly alert in a school zone whether school is in session or not.
When drivers don’t follow safety procedures on the road, they can be charged with serious crimes. If a child is injured or killed, they could face criminal as well as civil damages. A NYC Pedestrian Accidents lawyer can advise you on what to do if your child has been hit while walking to school.
Fatality Fact Might Surprise You
While many people believe that most traffic accidents involve children running into the roads, it’s actually older pedestrians who accounted for more than 20 percent of pedestrian fatalities in a 2012 report. The average age of pedestrians who were killed in traffic accidents was 46, and that average hasn’t changed much in 10 years.
Each year, over 4,700 pedestrians will be killed in an accident related to a vehicle while over 76,000 pedestrians will be injured.
Reasons for Pedestrian Accidents
- Distracted driving
- Speeding on the roadways
- Not yielding to pedestrians in a crosswalk
- Not obeying traffic signals
- Failure to signal before a turn
- Not paying attention during bad weather or traffic
- Driving under the influence
Factors that Contribute to Negligence for the Pedestrian
There are certain factors that can contribute to the negligence of a pedestrian. These can influence whether a pedestrian is entitled to compensation due to being struck by a vehicle.
- Failing to use a crosswalk
- Darting in the path of a vehicle
- Ignoring the walking signals at the intersection
- Walking while distracted and ignoring traffic and signs
What to Do When in a Pedestrian Accident
It’s vital that you call the police immediately. A driver that has hit you will want to deny they are to blame. Often, they’ll blame the pedestrian when they were at fault.
Stay at the scene until the police and ambulance arrive. You don’t want to walk away from the scene, or you could damage your case.
Take the names and phone numbers of witnesses who saw the accident. This will be given to the NYC Pedestrian Accidents lawyer later when he’s ready to get statements.
You shouldn’t make any statements to the driver or the insurance company regarding any of the events that day including the time leading up to the accident or the accident itself.
The insurance company isn’t working for you as the pedestrian and they are likely listening to claims of their insured driver who might be telling them you were at fault. Any statements made to the insurance company might damage your case.
Who is Responsible?
While it might seem like a simple question, the answer might be more than one party. The driver might be responsible for the accident, but there might be another responsible like the party who takes care of the roadway. If there’s a problem with the parking lot or intersection, the driver might not be the only one to blame. It might not be the driver’s fault at all.
This is one of the many reasons it’s so vital that a pedestrian involved in an accident calls on the expertise of a NYC Pedestrian Accidents lawyer who is well-versed in the laws regarding pedestrians and vehicles on the roads.