At some point, everyone is a pedestrian, even if it is just taking a few steps across the parking lot to your car. This is why pedestrian safety is something that should concern everyone, especially since nearly 5,000 pedestrians die after being struck by motor vehicles each year, and hundreds of thousands suffer injuries that land them in the emergency room.
Those on motorcycles and bicycles at least have helmets, and some wear other protective clothing. However, when you are walking where there is traffic, you are completely vulnerable to serious, even life-threatening injuries. Keeping yourself safe is critical since Colorado drivers do not always extend proper courtesy to those on foot.
Keep yourself safe
Motor vehicles injure more teens and young adults than any other age group, but the older you get, the higher your chances that getting struck by a car will prove fatal. Nevertheless, children pedestrians are the most vulnerable to traffic injuries. They are smaller and harder for drivers to see, and they have little experience negotiating traffic. If you have children, you likely show them how to judge when it is safe to step off the curb and hold their hands while crossing the street.
As an adult, there are things you can do to keep yourself safe when you are walking, including these:
- Avoid distractions, such as texting while you walk.
- Remove your earbuds when you are near moving vehicles.
- If there is no sidewalk, stay on the shoulder and walk facing traffic.
- Cross the street at intersections or in pedestrian crosswalks.
- Wear light colors or reflective clothing at night and carry a flashlight.
- Avoid walking near traffic after you have been drinking alcohol.
You may not be surprised to learn that alcohol is a factor in many auto versus pedestrian accidents. However, it is not always the driver who has been drinking. One study showed that more than one third of pedestrians involved in fatal crashes had a blood alcohol level of .08, which is the legal limit for operating a motor vehicle.
You may use every precaution when walking and still end up injured by a motor vehicle. Crashes of this kind often result in catastrophic and life-altering injuries requiring prolonged medical treatment. You may be unable to work while you recover or unable to return to work because of your injuries. As your medical bills increase, you may find your best course of action is to seek legal assistance in pursuing compensation for your injuries.