Fatalities from pedestrian accidents have been on the rise. Here is what you need to know to stay safe as a pedestrian on the roadways.
We often hear about the dangers of automobiles and most of us are well aware of ways to help ensure we stay safe on the road. Recent years have brought an increase in awareness of roadway safety, especially with the rise of campaigns that promote the dangers of texting while driving. Overall, the increase in awareness has been a good thing, as fatalities from automobile accidents have decreased. However, on the other side of this is a disturbing trend in the rate of fatalities from pedestrian accidents.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident in Texas, you should discuss your case with an experienced Dallas personal injury lawyer like Attorney Zach Herbert of Herbert & Eberstein.
What’s Behind the Rise in Pedestrian Death Rates?
According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, the rate of pedestrian deaths has been on the rise over the last decade and a half, despite that fact that fatalities in automobile accidents have decreased. During this same time period, vehicular safety technology designed to protect pedestrian traffic has advanced, leaving us with the burning question of what’s really behind the rise in pedestrian death rates?
There are multiple theories on this. Some say that despite campaigns by local law enforcement, drivers are still too distracted by their phones. They might maintain an awareness of other vehicular traffic but aren’t focused enough to react appropriately to pedestrian traffic. However, this is just one theory in a puzzle where none of the pieces really seem to fit.
For instance, there is another area of thought that claims SUVs are to blame for the increase in pedestrian accidents. The theory being that the driver of an SUV is elevated so far off the ground that it can be difficult for them to spot pedestrian traffic, especially children, in time to respond appropriately. Likewise, their size makes it more difficult for them to stop abruptly when needed.
These theories only begin to tap the surface of safety concerns for pedestrians. For instance, higher speed limits and roadways without a designated safe area for pedestrians are also thought to be contributing factors to the increase in accidents and fatalities, as have the poor infrastructure and condition of roadways in many areas across the United States.
What many people don’t realize is that you don’t have to be someone who frequently travels by foot to be at risk of becoming the victim in a pedestrian accident. Accidents that occur between vehicles and pedestrians happen every day on roadways, at crosswalks, in parking lots and even at bus stops. It’s important that we all have awareness of pedestrian safety, for the protection of our own wellbeing and that of others.
Who Is Most at Risk of a Pedestrian Accident?
Awareness is one of the best ways to prevent a pedestrian accident. Unfortunately, it’s often up to the pedestrian to respond proactively in protecting their safety on the road. That said, there are some factors that increase the risk of being involved in a pedestrian accident. These include:
- Walking in urban or suburban areas where there is more traffic
- Children who might not be able to accurately access oncoming traffic are at greater risk, although the risk for children peaks after age 13
- Elderly people who walk slower are at a greater risk
- Being on the roadways at dusk or when it is dark out
- Being on a dark roadway while wearing dark colors
- Being on the roadway while intoxicated
- Walking in an area where there is no designated safe place for pedestrians
- Walking in poorly lit areas or areas where damage to the road exists
When to Contact a Pedestrian Accident Personal Injury Attorney in Richardson
While pedestrians have the responsibility to follow the law and act safely on the road, motorists also have a responsibility to be aware and do what they can to prevent pedestrian accidents. If you’ve been involved in a pedestrian accident, it’s important that explore the possibility of recovering damages from your injuries. The best thing you can do is contact a pedestrian accident personal injury attorney in Richardson to review your case. A pedestrian accident can be devasting, but an experienced attorney can help guide you on the path to recovery.
Attorney Zach Herbert