As a pedestrian, you may assume that all drivers are paying attention to the road and their surroundings at all times. Unfortunately, this has never been the case in the past and never will be in the future. There will always be people who don't take the safety of pedestrians into consideration.
Drivers are required by law to exercise reasonable care regarding the safety of pedestrians. Some of the common factors contributing to driver negligence include:
- All forms of reckless driving, such as illegal passing
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Drowsy driving
- Failure to use turn signals
- Failure to obey traffic signals and signs
- Disregard for traffic and weather conditions
- Failure to yield to pedestrians at crosswalks
It's a mistake to assume that drivers will do whatever it takes to avoid these forms of negligence. For example, a person may decide to send a text message while driving in a crowded area, thus speeding through a crosswalk. This puts everyone in close proximity in a dangerous position.
What can you do?
You can't do anything to control the behavior of those on the road, but there are steps you can personally take prevent an accident. Here are some things to consider:
- Look both ways (twice) before crossing the street
- When possible, only cross the street at a designated crosswalk
- Never disrupt the flow of traffic
- Never ignore the "don't walk" signal (even if the road looks clear)
- Don't dart into traffic
What to do after a car-pedestrian accident
When you plan for the worst, you'll know what to do in the event of an accident. Here are the steps to take:
- Call 911 for help
- Administer first-aid, if possible
- Ask witnesses to provide assistance
- Receive immediate medical treatment at a local hospital
Your primary goal is to get your health back in order. This all starts with receiving immediate care and following the treatment schedule outlined by your medical team.
Once you understand your injuries, prognosis and treatment schedule, turn your attention back to the accident. As you learn more about the cause of the pedestrian accident, you can formulate a strategy for protecting your legal rights as you hold the negligent party responsible.