As temperatures rise and the days become longer, citizens across the country flock outdoors for entertainment during the summer months. Given recent stay-at-home orders and a societal push to enforce social distancing, people are relying on outdoor activities for entertainment, exercise, and a breath of fresh air now more than ever. While pedestrians enjoy summertime activities, dangers still remain present. Data from recent years suggests that pedestrians and drivers should remain alert during high-volume pedestrian traffic seasons like the summer. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that 2018 was the worst year on record for pedestrian-car accidents since 1990, with a reported 6,283 pedestrian fatalities. Drivers can directly reduce tragic figures like this by practicing safe driving and remaining alert for all who share the road with them.
Driver Safety Tips
The truth is that the majority of fatal auto-pedestrian accidents are preventable if the driver pays attention to the road. Distracted driving seriously injures and kills thousands of pedestrians and cyclists in communities across the country annually. As life becomes more and more intertwined with technology and staying connected, drivers face new distractions daily that put pedestrians’ lives in danger.
Drivers should always focus on the road and those who share it with them. Drivers should never engage in dangerous distracted driving behaviors, such as texting, talking on the phone, applying makeup, changing the radio station, or other behavior that diverts attention away from the road.
Follow Traffic Laws and Signals
Drivers should always follow posted traffic signals and laws. In high pedestrian traffic areas – such as crosswalks – it is extremely important that drivers adhere to signals designed to protect pedestrians sharing the road. Drivers should always give pedestrians the right of way and yield to them as they attempt to cross or share the road.
Stay Alert, Give Space
Along with a similar protocol of following traffic signals, drivers should stay alert and leave adequate space between their vehicle and pedestrians or cyclists who may share the road. Drivers must be aware of their vehicle’s blind spots in order to keep pedestrians and cyclists who may enter those zones safe, by remaining alert, checking mirrors, and using proper turn signals. Driving maneuvers such as changing lanes or making left turns are both notoriously dangerous moves for pedestrians.
Tips for Pedestrians
Unfortunately, one cannot always trust that drivers will pay attention or follow posted traffic signals and laws. Safety tips for sharing the road with motor vehicles include:
- If possible, pedestrians should use sidewalks. If a sidewalk is neither present nor accessible, pedestrians should walk facing traffic to remain visible as well as maintain as much distance from passing cars as possible.
- If possible, pedestrians should cross streets in crosswalks or at intersections. If this is not possible, cross in a well-lit area when they have enough time to safely traverse the road.
- Remain alert and avoid distracting behavior such as texting or talking on the phone while walking or crossing the road. Pedestrians listening to music should also keep the volume at a level that allows them to hear a nearby vehicle.
- Avoid walking at times of day when visibility is impaired, like dusk and dawn. If walking at night, wear bright, reflective clothing that is visible. Pedestrians should always try to make themselves as visible to drivers as possible.
It is especially important that pedestrians with children remain alert and visible. If possible, children should play away from roads and heavily trafficked areas and should never be left unattended.
Houston Pedestrian Accident Attorneys
The summer months bring fun and social activities, and all should be able to safely enjoy them without being injured or killed by negligent drivers. It is important for all who share the road to keep in mind their own responsibility to protect themselves and others. If you or a loved one was seriously injured or killed in an auto-pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to compensation. There is limited time to act following a car accident in Texas, so don’t delay in contacting us for a free and confidential new case consultation.