Odds are you that you do it every day but that you are unaware of how dangerous it is: walking on, near, or by a street in the greater Phoenix area. The truth is that everyone is a pedestrian at some point in time where being a pedestrian means moving without a motorized device or bicycle, typically by walking, using a wheelchair, or even by being pushed in a stroller. Often, those who are walking see themselves as separate from other forms of traffic and therefore not at risk for issues like car accidents or truck collisions. However, across the nation, approximately 430 people are treated in hospitals every day for injuries sustained in pedestrian accidents and someone is killed in a pedestrian crash every two hours, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This means that pedestrian accidents happen every hour of every day, placing the safety of those involved at risk and potentially altering their lives and the lives of those who love them forever. But if everyone walks at some point, what can be done to improve safety and limit these incidents from occurring?
The best thing you can do is to understand why collisions between pedestrians and vehicles take place and then adjust your behavior accordingly so that you are part of the solution and not part of the problem.
If you are driving, make sure you realize that pedestrians may be present on sidewalks, at intersections, and in crosswalks. Always look for and yield to a pedestrian where appropriate and do not assume that a pedestrian will yield to you. Be particularly cautious in areas with heavy foot traffic including parking lots, school zones, and public parks as pedestrians may appear unexpectedly in these locations.
If you are walking, realize that your actions will directly affect your safety. With that in mind, resist the urge to cross a road or street anywhere other than in a marked crosswalk and only cross when no oncoming vehicular traffic is present. If you are faced with traffic control signals, like lights, make sure you wait your turn and enter a crosswalk only when permitted by those devices so that you will be the only one using the roadway when you proceed.
Distraction is believed to be a major contributing factor in pedestrian collisions in Arizona, so whether you are driving or walking, avoid anything that will divert your attention from your task at hand. This includes cell phones, tablets, laptop computers, and other electronic devices. Similarly, alcohol is another common finding in both drivers and pedestrians who are involved in collisions so refrain from a state of intoxication if you will be traveling. Many people are surprised to learn that in 2013, 34 percent of all pedestrians killed in traffic accidents had a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher at the time of the crash.
No matter how safe you are, you may still be the victim of a pedestrian accident in Phoenix if someone else makes a mistake or acts in a reckless manner. If that happens, know that you may be entitled to financial compensation for your damages and for any harm you sustain. To help you understand your legal rights and options, the personal injury lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. offer a case consultation without cost or obligation to those who call us toll free at (855) PHX-LAWYER or locally at (602) 819-5191. For your convenience, we have an attorney standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take your call.
Everything discussed in your consultation will be kept confidential and if we represent you, we will never charge you a fee unless we are successful on your behalf.
Prior Blog Entry:
Your Car’s Headlights May Be a Cause of Poor Visibility, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, published March 30, 2016.
Walk This Way! Taking Steps for Pedestrian Safety, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, published March 14, 2016.