The Centers for Disease Control reports that over 5,000 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in 2015. Another 129,000 pedestrians were treated in the emergency department for non-fatal injuries in a traffic accident. The pedestrians most at risk for a fatality in a traffic crash are those over 65 years old and children under the age of 15.
The CDC recommends that pedestrians take these prevention measures to stay safe on the road:
- Make sure you wear visible clothing when you are walking
- For nighttime walks, carry a flashlight and wear reflective clothing
- Cross the street at designated crosswalks or intersections
- Walk on the sidewalk or a path
- If you do have to walk on the road, use the shoulder and walk towards traffic
- Avoid distractions when walking
- Do not assume drivers will give pedestrians the right of way
- Attempt to make eye contact with each driver when you are crossing a street
- Do not walk after drinking alcohol, as this increases your risk of an accident
- Know your surroundings
- If you do need to cross the street at someplace other than an intersection, wait for all traffic to pass before crossing
- Do not walk on interstate highways
More pedestrian deaths in traffic accidents occur in urban areas, at night and not in an intersection. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration considers anyone not in a vehicle a pedestrian. If you are fixing your flat tire on the side of the road, you should be extra cautious, especially at night or in dimly lit areas.
Pedestrians who are in an accident are more likely to be injured or killed by the collision. It is important to know your legal rights if you or a loved one suffered injuries or a fatality while walking. You may want to discuss your situation with a personal injury attorney who can help you find the best possible outcome for your case.