Are there ways to avoid pedestrian accidents?

Although statistics show that the majority of vehicle-pedestrian accidents are the result of inattentive drivers, pedestrian conduct plays, at least in part, to many accidents. By taking a proactive stance when traveling Florida’s roads and highways, pedestrians can minimize the likelihood that they will be injured and become a statistic.

Studies show that children have an increased likelihood of be involved in a vehicle-pedestrian accident, and many school age children walk some of, if not the entire way, to school every day. This places those children at a heightened risk of being injured as a result of an automobile encounter. To lessen the chances of such an encounter, a system should be put in place to ensure the safety of those children. A good practice is to have older children who go to the same, or nearby schools, walk with younger children to act as a “watchdog” to be on the lookout for dangers a younger child may not detect. Younger children may be impulsive and not exercise the same caution as a more mature child, and may enter into situations that an older child would avoid. This additional supervision would safeguard the younger children, and add an extra layer of safety to them when they are on the streets, thereby avoiding potential harm.

Take time to go over and review the route your child takes when walking to school. By walking the route yourself, you are likely to observe potential dangers and hazards that even an older child may not see. A short walk to an adult is a long walk to a child, and children may become distracted and have an urge to deviate from that route, exposing them to additional, unexpected dangers. By walking the route your child takes when traveling to school, you can assess the level of danger their route presents. You can observe how busy the intersections are that they will encounter, if there are isolated areas that your children should avoid or be cautious when walking through and the level of safety that exists in the crosswalks they will be using. Based upon your assessment, you may determine an alternate route is better suited for your children’s safety, or establish rules for how your children should travel through more hazardous areas.

Encourage your children not to engage in activities that distract them when walking on the streets. Children should be cautioned to avoid texting, talking on their cell phone, or listening to music when walking to school. A distracted child is much less likely to be aware of dangers that are present on streets, presenting them with a greater chance of injury.

Insure that your child is clearly visible to drivers when walking to school, and that they can clearly see the areas that they are walking in. Make sure that your children are not wearing clothes that make them hard for drivers to see, or make it hard for your children to see moving cars and that your child’s back to school wardrobe does not hamper mobility or visibility. Do not allow your children to wear dark clothes when light is low. Discourage floppy hats, hooded sweatshirts or sunglasses that may make it difficult for your children to see oncoming traffic.

Children are not the only people that are victims of vehicle-pedestrian accidents. Many adults are victims of serious injuries resulting from encounters with motor vehicles. Caution and common sense are your best tools to avoid injury when dealing with vehicles on the road. Plan your route. If you are traveling in a familiar area, be aware of areas of heavy vehicle traffic and exercise extra caution.  Be aware of your environment. Look around at intersections and cross roads for potential hazards. When encountering a vehicle, make eye contact with the driver. Be sure that you see them, and be sure that they see you. Project what the driver may do. Always presume that the driver does not see you or will not yield to you. Assess the threat of collision and have an “exit strategy” in the event the driver is approaching you in a dangerous manner. While it is impossible to avoid every possibility of becoming involved in a vehicle-pedestrian accident, a little proactive action on your part can minimize the likelihood of such an event occurring.

When involved in a motor vehicle-pedestrian/bicycle accident, the assistance of an experienced, aggressive attorney is invaluable to protect your rights and insure you get all the benefits you may be entitled to. Dan Newlin & Partners are exactly those types of attorneys; always fighting for everything our clients are entitled to. Our experience of handling over 10,000 personal injury cases, and dealing with most major insurance companies, allows us the ability to answer all of your questions in a timely and professional manner and to maximize the value of your case insuring that you receive all the benefits that you are entitled to. If you have any questions about what rights you may have as a result of being involved in a motor vehicle-pedestrian/bicycle accident, or any other type of accident, please call Dan Newlin and Partners at (407) 888-8000.