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Why are pedestrians at such high risk of injury?

| Jan 3, 2020 | Personal Injury |

In this day of excessive and inappropriate cellphone usage by both drivers and pedestrians, you face a distinct risk of injury every time you walk across a Virginia street. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2017, the last year for which statistics are available. 5,977 pedestrians died nationwide in a traffic accident. This translates to one death every 88 minutes.

It goes without saying that as a pedestrian, you stand far more chance of receiving a catastrophic injury, such as a traumatic brain injury, than does the driver of any vehicle that accidentally hits you. To make yourself safer when walking, the NHTSA recommends that you do the following:

  • Never assume that any driver sees you.
  • Never distract yourself by using a cellphone or other electronic device while walking.
  • Always cross streets in a crosswalk if one exists.
  • Always look both ways before crossing a street.
  • Always make yourself as visible as possible by wearing bright-colored clothing during daylight hours and reflective clothing at night.
  • Always be alert for cars backing out of driveways or exiting parking lots.

Driver responsibilities

When you drive, remember that pedestrians have no protection against your vehicle if you hit them. Even a low-speed accident can seriously injure a pedestrian or even kill him or her. Consequently, follow the following safe driving practices:

  • Never use your cellphone or another electronic device while driving.
  • Never drive after drinking or taking drugs, including prescription drugs.
  • Always remain alert for pedestrians.
  • Always slow down at intersections and crosswalks, even when you have a green traffic light.
  • Always adhere to speed limits, particularly in school zones.

This is general educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.