Whether you drive, take a metro, or use whatever means of commuting to the city, you will have to walk at one point. Sometimes walking will require you to be near vehicles and at the risk of being struck by a vehicle.
According to NHTSA data, over 6,500 pedestrians lost their lives in road accidents, and 55,000 were injured in 2020. While you may not eliminate the possibility of an accident, you can do a few things to stay safe when walking in the city.
Main Causes Of Pedestrian Accidents In Cities
There are several causes of pedestrian accidents in the city. But they all fall under three main classes, which also determine liability.
Driver errors are a common cause of pedestrian accidents. Driver errors can include speeding, failing to yield to pedestrians at designated crossing points, DUI, and distraction. If you have suffered injuries due to driver error, you may be eligible for compensation from the at-fault driver.
2. Pedestrian Error
Pedestrian errors are also a significant contributor to pedestrian accidents. Unfortunately, nobody will be liable for the resulting damages if you are responsible for an accident in which you suffer injuries.
3. Poor Street Maintenance
There are situations where the fault is not on the driver or a pedestrian but poor street maintenance. While this is not a common cause of an accident, it can result in severe injuries.
If an accident results from a government’s failure to maintain a street, you can file a claim against the agency responsible for maintaining streets.
Irrespective of who is liable for an accident, the claims process can get pretty complicated if you are involved in a severe pedestrian accident, so you may need to work with a skilled pedestrian accident attorney.
Tips For Avoiding Accidents As A Pedestrian In A City
1. Always Use The Sidewalk
Vehicles, big or small, belong on the road and pedestrians on the sidewalk. Whenever there is a sidewalk, the best you can do is to use it. If there is not one, walk on the road’s shoulder facing the oncoming traffic.
2. Avoid Jaywalking
Jaywalking is always a bad idea. While it may not always be illegal, it puts you at the risk of getting hit because drivers may not be expecting pedestrians to get on the road in some areas. Instead, always cross the road at designated crossing points such as zebra crossings.
3. Beware Of Your Surrounding
Hazards are everywhere. So, you must be conscious of your surroundings to minimize the chances of getting hit. For example, while you could be careful to look out for hazards on the road, other hazards such as vehicles pulling out of driveways or backing up from parking lots are also present and could result in an accident.
4. Do Not Assume Drivers Can See You
While you may have the right of way at a pedestrian crossing, there are situations where the driver may not be obliged to stop, for example, at a zebra crossing without traffic lights. So, always ensure that you have eye contact with a driver before getting on the road to ensure they can see you.
5. Wear Brightly Colored Clothes At Night
Most pedestrian accidents occur when it is dark outside, and pedestrians are less visible to drivers. According to the NHTSA, most pedestrian fatalities occur between 6PM and midnight.
If you must walk in low visibility, wear brightly colored clothes to improve your visibility. Also, avoid crossing the road in poorly lit sections of the road.
Alcohol and being on the road do not go together whether you are operating a vehicle or are a pedestrian.
Some effects of alcohol include poor decision-making, poor motor coordination, and impaired vision, all of which make walking near cars risky. After having drinks, the best option for commuting is riding a taxi.