At some point, every day, we are all pedestrians.
You don't have to be on a mile-long walk to be at risk of an auto-pedestrian accident in Southern California, or anywhere, in fact. Just getting out of your car, shutting the door and taking a single step makes you a pedestrian.
And according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 6,000 pedestrians were killed in the United States in 2017.
It helps to have a reminder about pedestrian safety. The NHTSA advises the following:
- Follow the rules. Obey road signs and traffic signals.
- Use sidewalks whenever possible. If there isn't a sidewalk, walk so you can see the traffic coming toward you, and stay as far to the side of the road as you can.
- Don't let your smartphone distract. Keep your eyes on the road.
- Use crosswalks or cross at intersections. Drivers are trained to look for you there. Still, you will want to look for cars. Don't assume drivers will stop.
- If there isn't a crosswalk, use caution and find a spot that offers a good view of both lanes of traffic. Look both ways before you cross and make sure you have enough time to cross safely.
- Make eye contact with all drivers to make sure they see you.
- If you are walking at night, wear clothing with reflective markers and use a flashlight.
- Watch for cars that are backing up or are in driveways.
- Drunk walking can be dangerous, too. It impairs your decision-making ability.
You can follow all of these guidelines and still be hit by a car, unfortunately, as shown by the nearly 6,000 pedestrian fatalities in 2017. If you are injured in a crash, the driver could be held responsible for payment of your lost wages, medical bills and costs of rehabilitation. An attorney with experience in such cases can help you recoup what you've lost.