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Tips for preventing pedestrian accidents

Florida’s year-round nice weather means that choosing to walk instead of drive is always a viable option. This means there are many pedestrians on the roads, especially in more walking-friendly communities. However, this increases the chance of a pedestrian accident.

The injuries suffered in a pedestrian accident are often serious, considering the difference in size between a vehicle and the pedestrian. However, there are many things that both pedestrians and drivers can do to reduce the chance of an accident.

Tips for pedestrians

If you are a pedestrian, you must follow the traffic laws, just as the drivers do. Use sidewalks if they are available and cross the street only at crosswalks when it is your turn. Before you cross, pause and check for vehicles coming before you step off the crosswalk, since you cannot always count on drivers following the traffic rules.

There are times you may find yourself walking in areas without sidewalks or crosswalks. Walk facing traffic and try to avoid vehicles. Pay close attention to the vehicles as they get near you, and if you see one that looks like it is veering toward you, get off the road entirely if you can.

Pay special attention when you walk past driveways or through parking lots. Vehicles could back out without looking for you, so make sure they see you and it is safe to walk before continuing.

You may choose to walk if you are intoxicated, which is a good choice instead of driving. However, walking while impaired by alcohol or drugs can cause you to miss vehicles on the road or wander into a vehicle’s path. If you think you are too impaired to walk and drive, call a friend or a rideshare service.

Tips for drivers

When you are the one behind the wheel, remember that there are pedestrians on the roads and keep an eye out for them the same way you do with other vehicles. Pay special attention to places where pedestrians should also be watching out for you, such as parking spaces or driveways.

Crosswalks are one of the main areas pedestrian accidents occur, so exercise extreme caution when driving near one. Yield to pedestrians you see crossing and be patient. You may be in a hurry, but you are going to have to slow down at a crosswalk.

Many pedestrian accidents happen at crosswalks because one driver slows down but does not leave enough room for the drivers behind them to see the pedestrians. Leave enough room for other drivers to see that you are stopped because of pedestrians.

If you are the one behind a vehicle stopped at a crosswalk, do not assume that the vehicle is turning or just stopping for no reason. Remember that pedestrians are likely the reason they stopped, and you should stop, as well.

Weather and darkness

Poor weather and nighttime often contribute to pedestrian accidents. Whether you are the pedestrian or the driver, stay alert when driving or walking at night or in bad weather conditions.

A pedestrian accident is often a terrifying experience. Along with the financial burden that comes along with treating your injuries, you likely face a long recovery time.

Pedestrian accident injuries can also be more than just physical. You might be afraid to go walking outside, which can decrease your quality of life, if walking was something you enjoyed.

Asserting your rights through a personal injury claim can mean compensation for these and other losses, but it requires proving negligence. It is important to know how negligence law applies to your specific situation, so you can develop a winning strategy.