July 19, 2016, Kitchener, Ontario
Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer
Walk this Way... Safely
Why Pedestrians should Exercise Caution while Walking
Just like vehicles and motorcycles use caution while out on the roads, pedestrians should also exercise caution when walking on sidewalks.
Of all groups who use the roads, pedestrians are the most vulnerable to injury and deaths from accidents. In the United States it was found that every day 430 people will go to the hospital for traffic-related pedestrian crashes. In 2013, another U.S study also found that 4,735 pedestrians died in traffic accidents. In many of these incidents, it is not always the drivers fault. In Canada studies conducted in 2013 found that 18.1 per cent of road fatalities happened to pedestrians and 20.7 per cent of all serious injuries as well.
Everyone, from young to old, is considered a pedestrian and is at risk of being injured. It is found that male pedestrians were found more likely to die in a motor vehicle crash than females, and teens/young adults ages 15-29 were treated more in emergency departments than any other age group for crash-related injuries. Children are at a higher risk of injury and death than adults due to their size, difficulty judging speed and distances, and having little to no knowledge of traffic rules. Risky behavior is also another factor that increases a child’s risk of getting injured in a pedestrian accident, along with no adult supervision.
Since everyone’s safety is threatened while walking, everyone must work together to make sure no one gets injured. Drivers can drive at lower speeds in areas with a lot of pedestrians, which then lowers the severity of injuries for a pedestrian if they were to be hit. Drivers should also be extra cautious around little children playing, senior citizens crossing, and when they are turning onto streets.
City regions can improve the quality of their sidewalks by planting more trees making these routes more attractive. Studies in the U.S. and the Europe found that environments which promoted walking resulted in fewer pedestrian injuries.
Citizens can even be own advocates for pedestrian safety by obeying road rules and not being distracted by electronics while walking. They can also wear bright or reflective clothing at night. At intersections they can attempt to make eye contact with vehicles that are stopped before walking through the intersection. Where there are no designated sidewalks, such as rural roadways, pedestrians should walk against traffic on the shoulder of the road.
Remember that drivers won’t always be able to see a pedestrian or be able to stop in time for someone to cross the street, and while everyone should work together to keep roads safe for everyone using them, pedestrians should always be alert and proactive while walking.
All information from this article and more can be found on the following links:
Written by Ariel Deutschmann