Keeping Most Vulnerable Pedestrians Safe
Keeping Most Vulnerable Pedestrians Safe – Pedestrians safety is essential for people of all ages. However, children and senior citizens are the most at risk for injuries or death. According to 2012 data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, children ages 15 and younger accounted for 6 percent of pedestrian deaths and 18 percent of pedestrian injuries in traffic accidents. Pedestrians ages 65 or older accounted for 20 percent of pedestrian deaths.
Common Types of Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian collisions can happen in many different ways. However, several common types of pedestrian accidents have been identified.
- Backing Up –When drivers don’t look behind them when backing out of a driveway or parking spot.
- Dart-out –When a pedestrian unexpectedly appears from the side of the street and is hit due to driver’s limited reaction time.
- Ice Cream Truck –When children approach or leave an ice cream or vending truck and are hit by an oncoming car.
- Intersection Dash – This is similar to the dart-out collision except it happens at an intersection.
- Multiple Vehicle Threat – When a car is stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross. However, the stopped vehicle may block the view of the pedestrian for an oncoming vehicle that plans to pass the stopped car.
- Vehicle Turn or Merge – When drivers are focused on turning or merging into traffic and don’t see the pedestrian approach.
These types of accidents can often be prevented if pedestrians are visible, predictable and continuously follow road safety practices.
Educate and Supervise Children
Now that school is back in session, many children are out on the road walking to and from school. Parents should consider walking to school with younger children until they fully understand pedestrian safety practices and rules of the road. When children are ready to walk without supervision, teach them these key points to keep them safe:
- Follow the rules of crossing: Look left, look right and look left again before entering the street.
- Never assume a driver has seen you. Make eye contact with the driver and wait for acknowledgment to cross the road.
- When approaching or leaving a school bus, make eye contact with the bus driver to ensure acknowledgment before crossing in front.
- Always stay alert, by using your eyes and ears to know what’s going on around you. Don’t be distracted by headphones or cell phones when crossing the road.
- Never run out or chase after anything into the street. Follow the rules of crossing before entering the road.
- Whenever possible, stay on the sidewalk or pathways.
Safety Practices for Older Pedestrians
Walking provides many benefits for a healthy lifestyle. Studies have shown that walking three to four hours a week could reduce the risk of disease and extend years to your life. Though walking is a good lifestyle choice for older adults, it can still be risky especially near traffic. Below are a few tips to keep older pedestrians safe:
- Make yourself visible, especially at night or in poor weather.
- Wear comfortable shoes that provide ankle and foot support. Be sure the shoes have the proper grip to prevent slipping and falling accidents.
- Whenever possible, stay on the sidewalks.
- Use crosswalks and follow all traffic signals.
- Allow yourself plenty of time to cross the street.
- If a walk signal has been on for a while, it is safer to wait for a new walk signal to allow enough time to cross the street.
- Never assume a driver will stop for you just because you’re in a crosswalk.
- Not all drivers follow the rules of the road. Always be cautious of vehicles around you so you can be in control of your own safety.
Watch YouTube Video: AAA Pedestrian Safety PSA. This short public service announcement from AAA provides walking safety tips are for pedestrians.
Sacramento Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Pedestrian Accident Lawyer. Stepping up safety for our most vulnerable pedestrians is crucial. If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, call me for free, friendly advice at 916-921-6400 or (800) 404-5400.
I am a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
See our list of verdicts and settlements here.
Keeping Most Vulnerable Pedestrians Safe: AutoAccident.com
Photo by Siarhei Plashchynski; Michael LaRosa; Marcus Wallis on Unsplash; Quintin Gellar from Pexels / Keeping Most Vulnerable Pedestrians Safe.
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