It’s no secret that driving on any road presents a number of hazards and risks to motorists each time they drive. However, rarely are we more vulnerable than when walking in urban areas, crossing busy roads, or navigating traffic on foot. Whether you like it or not, we are all pedestrians at some point, so it is important to be aware of the most common dangers and statistics concerning pedestrian accidents in the United States.
The trusted attorneys at Lee Steinberg Law Firm have the experience you need to fight for the compensation you deserve in distracted driving and distracted walking accident cases. In this blog, we discuss some of the reasons why it’s not always distracted driving to be worried about, but why distracted walking can also cause serious accidents and injuries in Michigan.
Every year, nearly 20,000 pedestrian injuries occur in the United States. Unfortunately, around 500 of these injuries include pedestrian children whose injuries prove to be fatal. Studies show that children under 10 are not cognitively developed enough to gauge how fast cars are traveling when navigating traffic.
In 2019, an estimated 7,668 pedestrians died in traffic and non-traffic incidents, with 6,205 of those killed in traffic crashes on public roads. The same organization reported that in the same year, more than 17 percent of all traffic deaths were pedestrians. Every age group is at risk, however, statistics show that 45-74 year-olds have a 20 percent higher number of fatalities when compared to other age groups.
There’s no question that distracted walking is dangerous and, unfortunately, on the rise. In the digital age, it’s no surprise that this number is increasing. Everyone is guilty of looking at their phone while walking even if it is only for a brief moment. The National Safety Council reports that when people are walking and texting, not only do they move slower and are more likely to make poor decisions, but they are also generally less aware of their surroundings.
While everyone on the road including drivers and pedestrians alike must pay attention and maintain a duty of care to those around them, it’s important to always operate with as much safety as possible. Consider the following safety precautions to remain safe as a pedestrian:
- Whenever possible, walk on the sidewalk; if no sidewalk is available, walk facing traffic.
- Follow the rules of the road, obeying all traffic signs and signals.
- Cross streets at crosswalks.
- If no crosswalk is available and your view is blocked, move to a place where you can see oncoming traffic.
- Look left, right, and left again before crossing the street, making eye contact with drivers of oncoming vehicles to make sure they see you.
- Stay alert – avoid cell phone use and wearing earbuds.
- Avoid alcohol and drug impairment when walking.
- Wear bright and/or reflective clothing, and use a flashlight at night.
- Watch for cars entering or exiting driveways or backing up in parking lots.
- Children younger than 10 should cross the street with an adult.
Drivers can help keep pedestrians safe by:
- Putting away other distractions while behind the wheel.
- Enabling your smartphone’s “Do Not Disturb While Driving” function.
- Paying attention to their surroundings, especially in city traffic, at intersections, and in parking lots, work zones, and school zones.
- Obeying the speed limit at all times.
- Stopping for pedestrians at crosswalks.
- Obeying traffic signals.
- Looking carefully for pedestrians at night, when accidents are more likely to occur.
Here at Lee Steinberg Law, our Detroit, and Michigan pedestrian accident lawyers and car accident attorneys treat our clients like family and we are always available to discuss the details of your case and situation. We work aggressively to win your case and get you the compensation you deserve. Don’t hesitate to contact us today to find out how we can help.