How Pedestrians and Drivers Can Share the Road Safely

Safety Tips for Drivers and Pedestrians on the Road

Being safe on our roadways is being fully aware of your surroundings and knowing how to share the road with others. Whether you are out for a drive or for a walk around your neighborhood, you should be courteous of others and take all necessary steps to share the road safely.

More people have been killed in pedestrian accidents in recent years. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 6,500 people died in pedestrian-related traffic accidents in 2020, a nearly 4 percent increase from 2019 and the highest since 1990. On average, someone was killed in a pedestrian accident every 81 minutes in 2020.

Before you get behind the wheel or step outside for some fresh air, here are some essential tips to ensure you stay safe.

Safety Tips for Pedestrians

  • Always walk on a sidewalk. If it isn’t available, walk facing traffic as far from the road as possible.
  • Use marked crosswalks or intersections to cross the street. If neither is available, look for a well-lit area to cross.
  • Stay alert. Using headphones or talking on a cell phone may prevent you from hearing a car horn or missing a traffic signal at a crosswalk.
  • Don’t go walking if you are impaired. About 47 percent of fatal pedestrian crashes in 2020 involved a drunk pedestrian.
  • Don’t assume the driver sees you. They could be impaired or distracted. Make eye contact with the driver to ensure you are seen.
  • Make yourself visible. Wear bright-colored clothing during the day and reflective materials in the evening.

Safety Tips for Drivers

  • Watch out for pedestrians. They may be walking in unexpected or hard-to-see areas, especially at night, in bad weather, or poorly lit places.
  • Follow the rules of the road. Always yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk.
  • Never pass other vehicles stopped at a crosswalk, as they may be stopped to allow people to cross the road.
  • Stay extra alert where children may be present, such as in neighborhoods and school zones.
  • Slow down and follow posted speed limits, especially in pedestrian-heavy areas. Slow speed is an essential factor in pedestrian crash survivability.

Critical Findings for Pedestrian Injuries and Deaths

Data from the NHTSA shows that in 2019:

  • Over 6,200 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents, and an estimated 76,000 pedestrians suffered severe injuries.
  • A pedestrian was injured every 7 minutes and killed every 85 minutes in traffic collisions.
  • Pedestrian deaths accounted for 17 percent of all traffic fatalities and 3 percent of all people injured in traffic crashes.
  • 17 percent of pedestrians killed in traffic collisions were children 14 and younger.
  • The age group with the highest percentage of pedestrians killed in traffic accidents was 55 to 59, followed by 60 to 64.
  • 70 percent of those who died in pedestrian-related crashes were males.
  • Over 45 percent of pedestrians killed in traffic crashes involved alcohol.
  • 82 percent of pedestrian traffic fatalities occurred in urban areas.
  • 26 percent of pedestrian fatalities happened between 6:00 pm and 9:00 pm.
  • 90 percent of pedestrians killed in traffic accidents involved single vehicles.
  • 20 percent of pedestrians struck in crashes involved hit-and-run drivers.

Work with an Injury Lawyer after Your Pedestrian Accident

Being hit by a car is a traumatic experience that can significantly change your life. If your pedestrian accident occurred due to a negligent driver and you suffered severe bodily injuries, keeping your legal options open is essential.

After your pedestrian accident, filing a lawsuit is likely the furthest from your mind. Our pedestrian accident lawyers at help you understand your legal rights and get total compensation for any injuries and damages you have experienced.

While some think they can handle their claim directly with the at-fault party’s insurance company, contacting a knowledgeable accident attorney to handle the compensation process is essential to obtaining a favorable outcome. Pedestrian accidents can be devastating mentally, physically, and financially.

Watch the YouTube video below to learn how our Sacramento personal injury attorneys can help you with your pedestrian accident case.

Personal Injury Attorneys in Sacramento

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento personal injury lawyer. While pedestrians must exercise reasonable care, they can’t control the negligent actions of others. If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident in Sacramento or Northern California, call our experienced legal team for free, friendly advice at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400. Our injury attorneys will review your case and determine the best action to pursue compensation for your losses and damages.

Since 1982, our Sacramento personal injury law firm has achieved successful client results. See our past case results on our Verdicts and Settlements page.

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

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