During October, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is raising awareness of the dangers that pedestrians face on the road. On September 29, 2020, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) designated October as National Pedestrian Safety Month. According to the NHTSA, there was more than a 3% increase in pedestrian deaths from traffic crashes in 2018. In total, there was 6,283 deaths, which is the highest death rate since 1990. Statistics by New York State Department of Health show that Long Island is one of New York’s locations with the highest risks for pedestrian-related accidents.
2020 marks the first year that this October’s awareness month will focus on pedestrian safety as part of their initiative to improve safety for walkers who are exposed to the dangers on the road. The initiative is meant to educate the public with facts and safety tips that people can use to protect themselves and their families when walking.
Knowing Your Safety as a Pedestrian is Always At Risk
New York pedestrians are exposed more to the risks of injury as there is nothing protecting them. In 2017, every 88 minutes there was a pedestrian killed due to being involved in a traffic crash. Many pedestrians do not think there is a risk of being hit by a vehicle when walking. Especially New Yorkers walking on the same roads day after day. However, as a pedestrian awareness is key and knowing these safety precautions will help reduce the chances of being involved in a traumatic accident. Practicing these walking safety tips by the NHTSA can maintain your safety:
- Be predictable for Drivers. Follow the rules of the road and obey signs and signals.
- Always walk on sidewalks whenever they are available.
- If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible.
- Keep alert at all times; don’t be distracted by electronic devices that take your eyes (and ears) off the road.
- Whenever possible, cross streets at crosswalks or intersections, where drivers expect pedestrians. Look for cars in all directions, including those turning left or right.
- If a crosswalk or intersection is not available, locate a well-lit area where you have the best view of traffic. Wait for a gap in traffic that allows enough time to cross safely; continue watching for traffic as you cross.
- Never assume a driver sees you. Make eye contact with drivers as they approach to make sure you are seen.
- Be visible at all times. Wear bright clothing during the day, and wear reflective materials or use a flashlight at night.
- Watch for cars entering or exiting driveways, or backing up in parking lots.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs when walking; they impair your abilities and your judgment.
Whether you are a concerned resident, parent, or caregiver, a young pedestrian’s safety requires additional precautions from adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in every five children who are 15 years or younger were killed by a traffic crash in 2017. The following is a list of resources that can help your children safe while walking:
- Prevent Pedestrian Crashes: Parents and Caregivers of Elementary School Children Elementary
- Five Tips to Keep Your Children Safe on Their Way to and from School
- A Kid’s Guide to Safe Walking
- Tips for Preteens & Teens: Prevent Pedestrian
As children are learning and developing, they still need guidance to implement practicing pedestrian safety. In addition, it is also important to remind young adults that they need to use critical thinking while on the road.
Driver Safety Tips
It is important that drivers understand the importance of practicing safety rules and tips while sharing the road with pedestrians. Drivers who are protected by a vehicle are expected to be more aware of those on foot and yield when appropriate. According to the NHTSA these are some tips drivers should keep in mind when they are behind the wheel:
- Look out for pedestrians everywhere, at all times. Safety is a shared responsibility.
- Use extra caution when driving in hard-to-see conditions, such as nighttime or bad weather.
- Slow down and be prepared to stop when turning or otherwise entering a crosswalk.
- Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and stop well back from the cross-walk to give other vehicles an opportunity to see the crossing pedestrians so they can stop too.
- Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. There may be people crossing that you can’t see.
- Never drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
- Follow the speed limit, especially around people on the street.
- Follow slower speed limits in school zones and in neighborhoods where children are present.
- Be extra cautious when backing up—pedestrians can move into your path.
Overall there is an unspoken trust between motorists and pedestrians that results in being aware of each other’s surroundings and maintaining the safety of everyone who uses the roads. Unfortunately, a lack of safety practice results in devastating injuries, which are often fatal and avoidable.
New York City and Long Island Pedestrian Accident Attorneys
Our personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Siler & Ingber, have over 20 years of experience serving clients across New York City and Long Island. We protect your rights by maximizing recovery and securing the financial support our clients need to succeed on their road to recovery. Our winning attorneys know how to navigate through the claim process using past experience as insurance defense attorneys. We are not afraid to fight and are fully prepared to take your case to trial to get a justified verdict over settling for less.
If you or someone in your family has been injured in a pedestrian accident due to the negligence of another, our team at Siler & Ingber is here to help. Contact us today at 1-877-529-4343 or schedule an appointment online anytime. We never charge a few unless we recover money for you.