Pedestrians are obviously at a major disadvantage in a collision between them and a motor vehicle. The vehicle is bigger, heavier and stronger. It will also likely have much more momentum than a human body.
Pedestrians can experience life-altering injuries or die in a collision that causes very little property damage to the vehicle involved. Obviously, it is incumbent upon drivers to carefully watch for pedestrians on the road. However, pedestrians can also be proactive about protecting themselves from crashes.
The three tips below might reduce your risk of getting hurt while out on your next walk.
Don’t walk home after drinking
Alcohol is one of the biggest contributing factors to pedestrian crashes. In 13% of the reported pedestrian collisions analyzed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the driver who hit the pedestrian was under the influence of alcohol.
However, there are another 32% of crashes that involve a pedestrian drinking too much. There is also a substantial amount of overlap, as testing in some cases show that both the pedestrian and the driver had alcohol in their bloodstream.
Talking on the phone while walking to an appointment might help calm your nerves, but it might also distract you. The same is true responding to an email, reading a text message or playing a mobile game as you walk down the road. Distraction might mean that you fail to properly monitor your surroundings and step out into traffic when it is unsafe to do so.
Plan your route carefully if possible
Sometimes, you don’t control where you need to walk. If your car breaks down on a rural road, you may need to walk somewhere for shelter, for example. However, if you frequently walk for exercise or transportation, you can choose what roads you travel.
Choosing roads that have sidewalks could save your life. So could walking on roads with lower speed limits. The higher the speed of the vehicle at the time of the crash, the more likely it is to prove fatal for the pedestrian.
If you take the right steps when you walk, you can prevent some crashes and make it harder for a driver to blame you for once if you do get hit. Learning more about pedestrian crashes and your rights after one can help you demand compensation when a driver injures you.