It’s very scary to think about getting hit by a car when you’re walking down the street. But this is a possibility that we have to prepare for, especially with how common it’s been recently. Just last week, a pedestrian was hit by a driver near the Tampa area when he failed to yield to oncoming cars. A woman in Lakeland was killed in a hit in run accident as she walked down a dark road. We may think this could never happen to us, but these accidents hit close to home. It’s obvious that pedestrian safety in Florida should be more important.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that in 2017, a pedestrian was killed in a traffic crash every 88 minutes, on average. Florida has even been called the most dangerous state for pedestrians. How can this high number of tragic deaths be avoided?
What Can Pedestrians Do to Stay Safe?
Stay as visible as possible. Drivers are often preoccupied with the other cars on the road, so they may not even be expecting a pedestrian. It’s up to you to be easily visible. Wear bright colored or reflective clothing, especially at night. According to the NHTSA, most fatal crashes happen at night when it’s dark out. To reduce your risk, walk in well-lit areas and use a flashlight.
Eliminate distractions. You know not to text and drive, but being on your phone while walking down the street poses a threat too. You need to keep your eyes and ears open to traffic, so be wary of headphones too. Keep your music at a volume where you can still hear traffic sounds around you. It may surprise you, but 34% of pedestrian casualties involving alcohol were on the part of the pedestrians themselves. If you know you’ll be walking down a street, limit alcohol consumption and travel when you’re sober. It could save your life.
Stay aware and alert. Even though you aren’t driving, you still need to be aware of traffic rules. This can help you predict what drivers will do so that you can make smart decisions. There are also specific rules just for pedestrians that you need to know for your safety. Always try to cross at designated crosswalks and when a driver is yielding to you, try to make eye contact before crossing to be sure they see you. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!
What Are the Rules for Pedestrians?
You may have heard that pedestrians always have the right of way—but this isn’t true. Pedestrians have the right of way in certain situations. If you’re crossing at an intersection with a crossing signal, you must follow what it says. That means no crossing until the “walk” sign flashes. Drivers must stop for you if you’re in one of these crosswalks. You’re also required to use designated crosswalks if crossing between adjacent intersections with signals. If you don’t, the penalty could be a $64 ticket.
What Do I Do If I’m Hit as a Pedestrian?
If you’re in an accident as a pedestrian, the most important thing to do is to seek medical attention. Don’t just assume that you’re fine. You can get emergency attention at the scene of the accident or visit your doctor. Whatever you do, just make sure you get treatment as soon as possible. Medical professionals can catch life-threatening conditions quickly if you see them soon. Getting treatment can also help your claim.
Try to take photos at the scene of the accident. Take pictures of the roadway, traffic signs and signals, the crosswalk, and any skid marks on the road. These can help prove fault in your case.
Next, call the experienced attorneys of Brooks Law Group. If you are hit as a pedestrian, our attorneys can help maximize your financial compensation. We can help you get compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, wrongful death damages, and more. There is a statute of limitations on filing pedestrian injury lawsuits, though, so you should contact us immediately if you or a loved one has been involved in one of these accidents. Practice pedestrian safety, and call us at 1-800-LAW-3030 when you need us.