The days are slowly growing longer, and the weather is steadily improving. Bicycles are coming out of the garage, spring sports leagues are beginning, and before long school will be out. What does this mean for Utah roads? More pedestrians, cyclists, and little kids outside. Whether it’s playing soccer near the street, riding bikes to a snow cone shack, taking leisurely walks to enjoy the weather, or walking to lunch or dinner close to your work, pedestrians will be out on the roads more frequently and in greater numbers.
Almost 5,000 pedestrians were killed last year in car accidents, and over 75,000 were injured. Pedestrian accidents are common and very dangerous, as any car has an enormous destructive advantage over an unprotected pedestrian or cyclist, even if they are appropriately wearing their helmet. What can we do to decrease these pedestrian accidents?
Types of Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents come in many different forms with varying levels of negligence and danger. One example is a driver failing to look for pedestrians in a marked crosswalk or turning on a yield without looking for pedestrians. Another more dangerous pedestrian accident can occur when a driver drifts onto a sidewalk or the shoulder where a pedestrian or cyclist is moving.
On the other hand, pedestrians can cause accidents. Children are known for darting into traffic to retrieve toys, or to cross to a friend or parent without an understanding of the danger. Pedestrians who jaywalk outside of a crosswalk, cross against a light, or otherwise enter traffic against the proper flow or traffic laws can cause accidents, even if the pedestrian remains unharmed.
Decreasing Pedestrian Accidents
In Utah, there has been a push by law enforcement to decrease pedestrian accidents by conducting pedestrian stings. Law enforcement officers have posed as citizens, crossing regular crosswalks to catch drivers who aren’t properly yielding to pedestrians, as well as watching for pedestrians who are jaywalking or otherwise being negligent pedestrians. These campaigns have resulted in citations and a broader awareness of proper pedestrian procedures for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians alike.
Another key way to decrease pedestrian accidents is to raise awareness as we drive. Even if you are appropriately following traffic laws, a higher awareness of potential pedestrian threats can protect you and others. Frequently scan the sidewalks and shoulders for pedestrians, cyclists, and children playing. Be increasingly wary around crosswalks, schools, parks, and residential neighborhoods. Always use your blinker and survey all surroundings to alert you to pedestrians. As pedestrians, consider using reflective gear, always following traffic and pedestrian laws, and teaching your kids street safety.
If you are involved in a pedestrian accident, the consequences can be dramatic and the aftermath complicated. Utah Injury Lawyers can help you sort through the insurance, legal, and medal steps after a pedestrian accident and help you get the support and restitution you deserve. Utah Injury Lawyers can thoroughly investigate the crash to prove your innocence as well as negotiate on your behalf with insurance companies and involved parties. Don’t wait – call Utah Injury Lawyers right away!