A recent study conducted this past April by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that in 2012, 4,743 pedestrians were killed and an estimated 76,000 were injured in traffic crashes in the United States. Of all the other studies on road users, the NHTSA was able to determine that pedestrians were one of the few groups to experience an increase in fatalities in the United States in 2012. These statistics are a prime example of the lack of awareness drivers have when they are behind the wheel.
On average, a pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured every seven minutes in traffic crashes in 2012. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration determined that eighty-nine percent of pedestrian fatalities occurred during normal weather conditions where it was clear or cloudy, compared to rain, snow, and foggy conditions. A majority of the pedestrian fatalities, seventy percent, occurred during the nighttime, which is defined as 6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m.
Pedestrians should always try to do the following:
- Walk on a sidewalk or path whenever one is available.
- If there is no sidewalk or path available, walk facing traffic on the shoulder, as far away from traffic as possible.
- Keep alert at all times; don’t be distracted by electronic devices, including radios,smart phones and other devices that take your eyes (and ears) off the road environment.
- Be cautious when sharing the road with vehicles. Never assume a driver sees you.Try to make eye contact with drivers as they approach you to make sure you are seen.
- Be predictable as a pedestrian. Cross streets at crosswalks or intersections whenever possible. This is where drivers expect pedestrians.
- If a crosswalk or intersection is not available, locate a well-lit area, wait for a gap in traffic that allows you enough time to cross safely, and continue to watch for traffic as you cross.
- Stay off of freeways, restricted-access highways and other pedestrian-prohibitedroadways.
- Be visible at all times. Wear bright clothing during the day, and wear reflective materials or use a flashlight at night.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs when walking; they impair your abilities and judgment.
Just last November, a Fort Smith woman was charged with negligent homicide after she struck and killed a pedestrian with her pickup truck. As personal injury lawyers, we care about the safety of our community. At McCutchen Buckley – The Law Firm we encourage all pedestrians to focus on the tips listed above to limit the amount of pedestrian accidents. If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident and need legal advice, call our toll-free number at 1-800-871-0036 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.