As a driver, a pedestrian accident is probably one of your worst nightmares. Hitting a pedestrian can result in catastrophic bills that increase your insurance premium and sometimes have extreme consequences, like incarceration.
We want you to be able to avoid a car accident involving a pedestrian at all costs. That’s why we’ve put together this blog with four ways you can prevent pedestrian accidents as a driver. Keep reading to learn more.
Learn Pedestrian Behaviors
Learning pedestrian behaviors that are common to all pedestrians helps you out, especially if your fear of hitting a pedestrian comes from not knowing what they might do. It’s very understandable. The good news is that there are behaviors common to most – if not all – pedestrians.
Common pedestrian behaviors vary, but jaywalking, crossing the street outside of crosswalks, texting while crossing the road, and ignoring traffic signals are the most common among everyone.
Pedestrians are more likely to jaywalk, text, or ignore traffic signals in areas without pedestrian infrastructure, like dark streets and intersections without crosswalks, so it’s important to be extra vigilant in these areas.
If it’s too dark to see, turn your brights on to illuminate any pedestrians so you can avoid hitting them. Driving more slowly in the dark is another good way to reduce the risk of accidents.
Another important aspect is paying attention to cues, like a pedestrian’s eye contact or body language. Eye contact can indicate that a pedestrian has seen you and is prepared to cross the street. They will likely wait for their turn to go.
Lack of eye contact can mean they are distracted and unaware of their surroundings. So be prepared for a distracted pedestrian to suddenly step out into the street.
School zones are another important area to pay attention to since children don’t always understand crossing rules. Always obey the crossing guard, and stay alert for children who might run out into the road, even if the crossing guard motions for you to go.
It’s imperative to be aware of these habits every time you drive to prevent a pedestrian accident.
Obey Traffic Laws & Regulations
Obeying traffic laws and regulations is crucial to avoiding car accidents as a driver. This includes observing speed limits, stopping for pedestrians in crosswalks, and avoiding distractions like texting or eating while driving. One simple distraction can be enough to cause an accident.
Obey the speed limit is important for avoiding pedestrian accidents. Speed limits are set in consideration of road conditions, pedestrian activity, and other factors to ensure everyone stays safe.
Speeding increases the likelihood of accidents and makes it more difficult to stop in time to avoid pedestrians or road hazards. Speeding also makes accidents more severe by increasing the force of the impact, which is yet another reason to obey the speed limit.
Obeying the speed limit also helps maintain a safer and more orderly traffic flow. In addition, it sets a positive example for other drivers on the road and keeps everyone safer.
Stopping for Pedestrians
Simply put, it’s against the law not to stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Crosswalks are designated areas for pedestrians to cross the street safely. It’s your responsibility as a driver to slow down and stop to avoid an accident.
These laws are in place for everyone’s safety and protection. This is why not obeying traffic laws and regulations can result in traffic citations, fines, and even more severe consequences like incarceration.
Avoiding distractions like texting, eating, or even adjusting the radio can take your attention away from the road and prevent you from noticing pedestrians or other road hazards, which can ultimately cause a car accident.
Distractions can slow your reaction time, making it more difficult to avoid an accident. It’s important to keep your full attention on the road to avoid distractions that could put you or others in danger.
Pay Attention at Intersections
Intersections are high-risk areas for pedestrian accidents since these areas are often crowded with pedestrians and cyclists. Often, when a light turns green, signaling you to go straight or turn right, the pedestrians at the crosswalk also have the right of way to go across the street. So, even if you have a green light, check for pedestrians before making a right-hand turn.
Be extra careful when turning at an intersection, follow all laws, and be prepared to stop, even if you have the right of way if a pedestrian starts to cross. It’s much better to pause for the pedestrian than to risk an accident.
Drive Safely & Defensively
Driving safely and defensively means anticipating unexpected situations, like a pedestrian suddenly stepping into the street or a child riding a bike on the sidewalk. It’s important to always drive safely and responsibly by avoiding tailgating, using turn signals, and yielding the right of way whenever necessary.
Call Flickinger Boulton Gooch & Robson Today
Learning about pedestrian behaviors and obeying traffic regulations are helpful steps for preventing pedestrian accidents. It’s important to remain alert to your surroundings and to pay close attention to intersections. Ultimately, defensive driving is the best way to avoid pedestrian accidents and to make our roads safer and more accessible for everyone.
But if you are involved in a pedestrian accident, know that it is possible to get justice. Contact Flickinger Boulton Gooch & Robson today for your free case evaluation and take one more important step toward regaining control of your life.
Flickinger Boulton Gooch & Robson have over 150 years of combined experience in personal injury law and have won our clients hundreds of millions of dollars. Let us fight for you to get you the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering. Call us at 801.500.4000, or contact us through the form on our website to get started.