Pedestrians are increasingly likely to be injured or killed in accidents with cyclists, or vehicles. In fact, a recent study showed that 15% of all vehicle crash deaths involve pedestrians.
The risk to the pedestrians is inevitably higher than that of the cyclist (who is likely to be wearing some protective clothing), or the person(s) inside the vehicle (who are protected by doors, windows, and in many cases seatbelts). The study showed that most of the injuries and deaths are caused by a lack of awareness by one or both parties involved.
Keeping Our Pedestrians safe from Harm
Regardless of whether you’re on foot or behind the wheel, being observant of your surroundings is paramount to everybody’s safety. The following items will highlight areas of awareness that will help minimize the chance of a pedestrian accident.
Pedestrians should be mindful of the following:
- Always be aware of your surroundings
- Look both ways before crossing the street
- Avoid jaywalking by crossing at designated crosswalks where possible
- Refrain from focusing on electronic devices while walking
- Follow all traffic and crossing signals
- Runners and walkers – opt for high visibility clothing when exercising with restricted daylight
For cyclists, there are very similar guidelines as those for pedestrians with the following additions:
- Sound a bell or horn when approaching pedestrians
- Slow down when approaching crosswalks and intersections
With vehicles, far more caution needs to be taken due to the additional speed and weight associated with driving:
- Check for pedestrians before backing out or entering a drive
- Be sure to check your blind spots when changing lanes
- Slow down around schools during peak times
- Take care when passing large stationary vehicles such as buses
- Follow the road rules, including the speed limit
By following these guidelines and being more observant of our surroundings, the chance of a pedestrian accident will be greatly reduced.
If you are in the Portland, Oregon area and find yourself involved in a pedestrian accident and need legal help, we invite you to call our friendly team at Dwyer Williams Dretke Attorneys at (541) 617-0555 for a free consultation.