Five Helpful Facts and Tips About Pedestrian Accidents

The pedestrian fatality rate in Arizona is more than double that of the national average, at 1.61 pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people. Most of these are male pedestrians, killed at a rate of almost three times as much as female pedestrians. Keeping pedestrians safe is everyone’s job, but as a pedestrian, you should understand the realities of the dangers you face in order to stay safe.

What are the Reasons for Pedestrian Accidents?

Many of the primary reasons for pedestrian accidents are, unfortunately, due to poor driving. As much as it is a pedestrian’s job to stay aware of their surroundings, vehicles will always be faster, more powerful and able to surprise you. The biggest reasons cited for pedestrian accidents are:

  • Distracted driving
  • Speeding
  • Failure to yield right of way at crosswalks to pedestrians
  • Ignoring or disobeying traffic signals or signs
  • Failure to signal while turning
  • Disregarding weather conditions
  • Disregarding traffic conditions
  • Driving while under the influence

Who is Most at Risk?

In Arizona alone, over 150 people each day are injured in auto accidents, totaling over 55,000 injuries per year. Among these, of course, are many pedestrians. The most at risk among them are:

  • Children age 14 and under
  • Older adults
  • Male pedestrians
  • Pedestrians under the influence of alcohol or drugs

Where and How is the Safest to Walk?

It is always safest to walk in well-lit areas which are specifically marked for pedestrian use. This ensures the safest passage and the easiest-to-see indicators for all parties. This includes footpaths and pedestrian bridges.

If you are stuck where there is traffic, you should walk facing traffic so that you can best keep an eye out of anyone coming in you direction so you have the best chance of avoiding an accident. Use crosswalks, and wait for the crossing signal when available

What Are Other Safe Walking Tips?

Pedestrian safety should be everyone’s priority, but there are certainly some tips we could all use, especially as technology changes and distracts us all a little bit more. Using certain electronics is illegal while driving, but pedestrians should use caution, too.

  • Don’t look at your phone, and consider not listening, as well. You need all of your faculties about you when walking around
  • High visibility is key: Wear light clothing and, if you’re going to be out at night, wear reflective clothing, bands or tape so that you can be avoided
  • Let people know where you are going. This is always a good safety tip, walking or otherwise, but especially helpful if your walking trip will take some time

Keep Your Eyes Out

It should go without saying, but: Always look both ways. Always make sure drivers are following signals and traffic rules. Don’t be caught in an accident because someone else didn’t care.

Summary

You should always keep an eye out for yourself while you are walking, and wear high-visibility clothing if you can. If you are the victim of an accident, be sure to seek medical attention, file a police report, and hold onto all documentation for when you consult with an attorney.

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