Even if you own a car, you too are a pedestrian at certain times of the day; whether walking on a sidewalk, a road, or in a parking lot, being a pedestrian is what all Americans (as well as all others around the globe) have in common.
The National Safety Council, a non-profit, non-governmental public service organization records as many as 70, 000 cases of pedestrians accidents in the US every year, more than 4,500 of these being fatal. More specifically, based on records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Traffic Safety Facts, 4,818 pedestrians were killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2012; in 2013, the number dropped by 2%, to 4,735.
There are many different factors that put pedestrians’ lives at risk, such as tripping on an uneven or cracked sidewalk (which is actually the major cause of pedestrian injury) and being hit by a motor vehicle, which is much more dangerous as this can easily result to serious injuries or death.
According to the website of the Seegmiller Law Firm, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries and accidental amputation are just a few of the serious injuries that pedestrian accidents result in. Now, where serious injuries occur, costly medical bills and income lost because of time spent away from work, in addition to many other consequences, are sure to follow. Due to these, drivers and pedestrians are always expected to exercise reasonable care by observing and obeying traffic safety rules. In the case of motor vehicle drivers, giving pedestrians the right of way, never overspeeding, never allowing themselves to be distracted while driving, driving with extra care during poor weather conditions, always signaling prior to making a turn, and never driving if intoxicated, are some of the measures they can and should observe to help ensure pedestrian safety. On the part of pedestrians, always making sure to cross only at marked crosswalks, not ignoring the “don’t walk” signal, never darting in front of vehicles, and never disrupting the flow of traffic by crossing even at busy streets, are ways that will refrain them from putting motor vehicle drivers in precarious situations.
Fatality among pedestrians is always higher in rural areas, where there are usually no sidewalks, where many streets and intersections are poorly illuminated at night, and where vehicles can run at faster speeds. Data also show that most of those who are involved in pedestrian accidents are pedestrians with a blood alcohol level of more than 0.08% or drivers with the same high level of BAC (many times, both driver and pedestrian are found out to be intoxicated).
When an accident occurs, a pedestrian, who sustains injuries, may just be able to pursue legal action, especially if evidences show that he/she was not the one at fault during the accident.