According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA) there
were at least
6,000 pedestrian fatalities in 2017, all of which were directly caused by motor vehicle drivers. Add in pedestrian
deaths caused by other road hazards, and the total rises to nearly 7,500.
As the GHSA notes, these staggering numbers aren’t just a tragic
testament to the individual lives lost: They also represent an alarming
25-year high in pedestrian fatalities across the country.
With increased distractions from smartphones, higher rates of marijuana
and alcohol intoxication, and additional threats posed by electric micro-vehicles
like Bird and Lime scooters, pedestrians face more dangers on the road
than ever before. At Ivey Barnum & O’Mara, LLC, our accident
lawyers can help you seek compensation if you were severely injured as
a pedestrian, or if your loved one was wrongfully killed due to the actions
of a negligent driver.
To help you prevent a tragic accident, we’ve compiled 10 of the best
safety tips for walking:
Look both ways. The old nursery-school adage that you should “look both ways”
still applies, whether you’re 9 or 99. Check and double-check for
any oncoming traffic before you cross the street, even at marked crosswalks.
Avoid headphones. It may be fun to walk down the street with your music blasting, but many
accidents have been caused precisely because a pedestrian failed to hear
a motor vehicle. Keep the headphones at home!
Walk in groups whenever possible. It’s much easier to spot a flock of pedestrians than an individual
person, no matter how you may distinguish yourself from the crowd. Travel
in groups and make sure everyone stays together.
Do not text and walk. Although it’s difficult to calculate the total deaths caused by smartphone
usage, experts agree that car and pedestrian accidents have largely increased
because of smartphone usage. Some towns have even banned the practice
of “texting and walking” altogether! Avoid the urge to text
back, and wait until you’re in a safe place.
Do not use alcohol or marijuana. The same GHSA report that reported 6,000 pedestrian fatalities in 2017
also reported that marijuana usage was a key contributor. Although recreational
pot is still illegal in New York, it’s still important to avoid
any taking any impairing substances before taking a walk.
Make eye contact with drivers. Whether you’re in the sleepy suburbs or the middle of downtown NYC,
you need to keep your eyes open and make eye contact with the drivers.
It may be uncomfortable, but it will make it easier for others to spot you.
Don’t expect cars to stop for you. Many pedestrians make the mistake of thinking that a car will always cede
the right of way. Of course, cars may not always see you – and if
it’s a negligent driver behind the wheel, they may not care about
protecting your safety.
Wear something bright or reflective. You don’t have to go out and purchase a fully reflective bodysuit,
but try to bring something bright and clearly visible with you every time
you walk. This is especially important at night, or in areas with low
Use sidewalks. Sidewalks were built for pedestrians, so it’s important to use them!
Because you never know when a car will appear, staying to the curb is
your best chance to avoid getting hit.
Watch for cars backing up. No matter if you’re in a grocery store parking lot or out for a morning
run, it’s important to check for signs that a car is backing up.
If the driver does not see you, get out of the way as quickly as you can.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
When you’ve been involved in a
pedestrian knock-down accident, you don’t have to deal with your injuries alone. Our experienced
lawyers in Greenwich, White Plains, and Stamford can help you fight for
the recovery you deserve after your accident. Combining years of legal
experience with deep compassion for your case, we’ll stand by your
side and demand accountability from the at-fault driver.
Ready to speak with our team at Ivey Barnum & O’Mara, LLC? Call