Everyone’s been a pedestrian at some point. You might have been one recently, whether you were walking around downtown Huntsville or your own neighborhood.
Walking has a number of benefits: it saves you money on gas, it’s a great way to exercise, and it can even boost your happiness, according to some studies. But unfortunately, walking can be dangerous.
Each year, thousands of pedestrians die in traffic accidents. Tragically, pedestrians were one of the few groups to see an increase in deaths from 2010 to 2011, totaling 4,432.
To help you protect yourself, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers a number of safe walking tips. These tips include not only the tried and true—“Look both ways before you cross the street!”—but a few you may not have known.
- Make sure that you follow all rules of the road, obeying traffic signs and signals.
- Walk on sidewalks when you can.
- If there isn’t a sidewalk available, walk facing traffic and as far away from traffic as possible.
- Pay attention to traffic at all times.
- Use crosswalks and intersections.
- If there isn’t a crosswalk, cross the street in a well-lit area while there is a break in traffic.
- Look for cars coming in all directions, including cars that may be turning left or right or pulling out of a driveway or parking lot.
- Never assume that you are seen by drivers. Make eye contact to ensure that they’ve seen you.
- Wear bright clothing during the day and reflective clothing at night to help drivers see you.
- 10. Avoid walking after using drugs or alcohol.
You don’t want to be the victim of a traffic accident: in a contest between a pedestrian and a vehicle, the vehicle always wins.
That doesn’t mean that you have to stop walking, however. Instead, it’s important to always be aware of your surroundings as a pedestrian. Today, drivers are often distracted by the radio, their passengers, and—most alarmingly—their phones. You can help reduce your risk of a devastating accident by following the rules above and being cautious.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a traffic accident, please feel free to contact our Huntsville injury lawyers to have your questions answered. Over the last several years, our law firm has represented several individuals who were struck by motor vehicles as a pedestrian. Not only can you potentially recover from the at-fault driver, but if the at fault driver doesn’t have automobile insurance or they don’t have enough coverage, you can potentially make a claim on your own uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) even though you were injured as a pedestrian and not in your vehicle.