Pedestrian accidents are much more commonplace than many people realize. Not only are these accidents terrifying, but since they often involve both walking pedestrians and heavy vehicles, they can lead to serious, life-long injuries (and even death). Knowing what types of pedestrian accidents are common, and learning prevention tips, can help you keep your community safer for pedestrians in 2023:
Types of Pedestrian Accidents
If you’re the victim of a pedestrian accident, through no fault of your own, you need to contact a pedestrian injury lawyer to uphold your rights and receive the restitution that you deserve. Many types of pedestrian accidents occur every year. However, there are four that are particularly common, and that all pedestrians should do their best to prevent:
Many people fail to understand both proper crosswalk etiquette, and the legal obligations both drivers and pedestrians have when they’re at a crosswalk. In Illinois, pedestrians often have the ride away when it comes to crosswalks. Drivers are legally required to stop when a pedestrian is already on the road, or if they are more than a few car lengths away from a pedestrian attempting to (legally) cross. Stopping for pedestrians is a key responsibility of a driver in a busy city like Chicago, after all. That being said, it’s crucial that pedestrians do their part in keeping crosswalks safe and minimizing the number of crosswalk pedestrian accidents that occur every year.
Reversing Vehicle Accidents
Although not as commonplace as intersection accidents (which we will tackle in the paragraph below), reversing vehicle accidents make up a large chunk of overall pedestrian accidents. In most cases, these accidents are the vehicle operator’s fault. However, in rare cases, a pedestrian may be at fault for putting themselves in harm’s way, and therefore potentially putting the driver at risk as well. Typically, these accidents result in broken bones, lacerations, head trauma, (and in severe cases) death.
Nearly one-fourth of pedestrian accidents occur at an intersection, making it one of the most dangerous environments for pedestrians in busy, highly-trafficked areas. Whether these accidents are caused by distracted drivers (or pedestrians), attempts at dashing through caution walking signs, or other reckless behavior, these injuries are often serious. Illegal left turns are often a major culprit of these intersection pedestrian accidents as well. The faster the vehicle is going when the pedestrian is hit, the worse the injury is likely to be.
School Zone Accidents
There’s a reason school zones have lower speed limits, tons of crosswalks, and many more safety precautions than other strips of the roadway. Because these are high-traffic areas, and since children are around, extra precautions are needed to keep everyone safe. Drivers need to be constantly aware of their surroundings when in school zones, and pedestrians (especially parents and teachers), need to be vigilant about protecting children from dangerous behavior near roadways. Many of these accidents end up in less severe injuries due to the slower, more cautious environment, but more serious injuries occur in tragic cases of pedestrian-involved school zone accidents.
Pedestrian Accident Prevention Tips
Now that you know the types of accidents that can befall you as a pedestrian, you’ll need tools to help you prevent said accidents. Here are four crucial pedestrian accident prevention tips that you simply must know about:
Stay Alert at All Times
If you want to stay safe near roadways, staying alert and aware of your surroundings is an absolute must. If you assume everyone can see you while they’re driving, biking, or even walking, you’re putting yourself (and others) in danger. Be courteous, kind, aware, and sane and you’ll help yourself, and your community, avoid pedestrian injuries in 2023.
Stay in Well-Lit Areas
Poorly-lit walkways and sidewalks contribute to a ton of pedestrian-involved accidents every year. If you come to a crosswalk or other pedestrian walkway that’s not properly lit, you should move on to the next well-lit area if at all possible. In addition to potential injuries that occur from drivers not being able to see you, poorly-lit areas are an opportune environment for criminals who would do you harm.
Obey All Traffic Laws
While it sounds simple enough, many people simply ignore posted traffic laws and crosswalk warnings. The more aware you are of these laws and warning signs, the better. For this reason, if you’re taking a new walking route, you should always make it a priority to learn any safety precautions or warnings related to the area.
Avoid Public Intoxication
Lastly, it’s key that you avoid traveling as a pedestrian if you are dangerously intoxicated. If you have blurred vision, a poor sense of judgment, or have become physically impaired because of substance abuse, being out in public puts both you and others around you in danger. Being a responsible citizen is key when it comes to reducing and preventing pedestrian injuries in 2023.