We think of auto-pedestrian accidents as occurring only when someone attempts to cross a street. But that is far from true.
In fact, we are pedestrians more often than we think.
Think about when you park at your office or the mall and cross a parking lot. You're a pedestrian. When you cross the street in your apartment complex to get to the pool or grab the mail. You're a pedestrian.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), citing 2016 statistics, 5,987 pedestrians were killed in the United States. Of them, 18 percent of fatalities occurred at an intersection 72 percent occurred at nonintersections and 10 percent happened at other locations, such as bike lanes or road shoulders.
Even if you aren't crossing a major route, you need to take care anytime you walk in places where cars are present. Here are 10 reminders to keep you safe while walking:
- Follow the rules by abiding by traffic signals and signs.
- If there are sidewalks, be sure to use them.
- If no sidewalk is available, walk facing traffic and stay as far to the side of the road as possible.
- Stay alert. Your safety is more important than listening to music or checking your text messages. Keep your eyes open and your ears listening.
- Use crosswalks or cross at intersections. Drivers expect to see pedestrians there and not midroad. Do your part by looking for cars in all directions.
- If there isn't a crosswalk or intersection, find a well-lit area that offers a good view of traffic. Keep your eyes on traffic as you cross the street.
- Don't assume the driver sees you. Make eye contact so you know the driver has seen you.
- Wear bright clothing so drivers will see you in the day. At nighttime, a reflective stripe on your clothing and a flashlight will help you be seen.
- Look for cars that are exiting or entering driveways. Also, watch for reverse lights to see which cars are backing up in parking lots.
- Remember that alcohol and drugs can affect your judgment even while you're walking.
You can do everything right and still be the victim of an auto-pedestrian accident. If you have been injured, a California attorney can help you recover your losses.