Have you ever been driving and gotten annoyed because you had to stop at a crosswalk? When you’re safely ensconced in your car it’s easy to forget that sometimes you are the pedestrian that makes drivers stop. Even if the only walking you do is from the car to the entrance of the grocery store you have become a temporary pedestrian.
Risks of Being A Pedestrian
People walk for a variety of reasons. Some do it for exercise, some people prefer to travel around their town by walking, and some people walk because they don’t have an appropriate vehicle. Whatever the reason for walking, you assume some risks when you choose to travel using this method.
At some point in the day, everyone is a pedestrian. Unfortunately, pedestrian injuries and fatalities remain high. In 2019, 6,205 pedestrians were killed and an estimated 76,000 pedestrians were injured nationwide. (1)
Unless you anticipate wearing a full suit of armor every time you go for a walk, you need to remember to always be aware of your surroundings. Your body is no match for an automobile. Cars are much bigger and heavier than people, which is a contributing factor in the number of death statistics surrounding pedestrian accidents. Should you be one of the unfortunate ones to be hit by a moving vehicle, contact a Naples car accident attorney to learn your rights in that situation.
There has been a shocking rise in pedestrian deaths in the last few years. When pedestrians are struck by motor vehicles, they are much likelier to be killed than are car occupants. Pedestrians do not have anything to protect them from the physical forces that are released in accidents or from the environment around them. (2)
Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Several things can contribute to an accident involving a pedestrian. Many of the contributing factors are the same as those for accidents involving two motor vehicles. Inattention, distracted driving, visibility issues, road conditions, recklessness, and even negligence can cause accidents with pedestrians.
Drivers and pedestrians alike should pay attention to their surroundings when sharing travel space. The advent of new technologies has increased the distractibility of both those behind the wheel and those traveling on foot. Texting while driving or while crossing into traffic can have deadly consequences. A car accident attorney Naples FL can explain the ramifications of an accident involving texting and driving (or walking).
On occasion, the design of the road can play a factor in an accident between a vehicle and a pedestrian. Multiple lanes of traffic combined with roadside parking and curvy or hilly areas can lead to visibility issues for both drivers and pedestrians. If someone you know has been involved in an accident that could have been prevented by better road design, a car accident attorney Naples can discuss whether there is a reason to pursue a case.
Are Pedestrians Covered By Insurance?
When a pedestrian is hit by a car, who covers the subsequent medical bills or other bills stemming from the accident? The answer is not a simple one. Every state has its own insurance rules and regulations. Many of the regulations account for who was at fault in the accident.
In a no-fault state, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policies could cover the subsequent medical bills. However, in an at-fault state, the person’s own medical insurance might be required to cover the costs stemming from the accident. In some cases, liability policies held by the driver will cover injuries. Connect with a car accident attorney in Naples to discuss how these claims are handled.
Walking Safety Tips
In pedestrian accidents, as with any other accident, the accident could often be avoided with some simple steps taken by the parties involved. Here are some walking safety tips to help protect you from an accident as a pedestrian.
- Know the rules of the road you are traveling on and follow them. Pay attention to any signs, traffic signals, or other visual directions you may see.
- Use a sidewalk when you can. If the sidewalk on your side of the street is closed, use the one on the opposite side of the street even if it takes you longer to reach your destination. The sidewalk is the safest place to travel on foot.
- Always look both ways, better yet, in every direction, before you attempt to cross the street. Look beyond curves, hills, or intersections to check for fast-moving cars.
- If there’s a crosswalk, use it. Crosswalks are created for pedestrians and many states have laws regarding how to handle them.
- An intersection is the next best location to cross the street after a crosswalk. This is because there are typically traffic signals or signs that stop drivers for some time.
- Check for cars that are entering or leaving parking spaces or driveways.
These simple tips will help you to remain safe when walking near moving automobiles.
Accidents between pedestrians and automobiles are increasing. Some of the same factors—recklessness, distraction, negligence—apply to pedestrian accidents as apply to accidents with another motor vehicle. Pedestrians can take some simple steps to help ensure their safety from accidents.
I’m currently in the hospital because I was hit by a car. What should I do?
If you haven’t contacted your insurance (automobile) company, do so. Handling an injury claim after a pedestrian accident without help is difficult. Contact a car accident attorney in Naples to discuss your options.
Someone stepped directly in front of my husband on the way to work this morning, and he tried to stop, but couldn’t avoid hitting them. What are our next steps?
Consult with a Naples car accident attorney to talk about your options. In some cases, the pedestrian can be deemed at least partially at fault, so it’s important to have a professional look at the situation.