A crash between a pedestrian and a motor vehicle can have a very unfortunate outcome for the pedestrian involved. The person in the vehicle has the exterior of that vehicle and numerous specialized safety systems to protect them from the force of impact. The pedestrian has nothing other than their body to absorb that force.
Pedestrians can suffer head injuries, broken bones and spinal cord injuries when they get hit by a motor vehicle. As someone who frequently walks on or near roads, you obviously want to reduce your risk of getting hit by a vehicle. Identifying safety concerns that might increase your risk of a collision with a car could help keep you safer.
Alcohol and drugs
Drunk drivers put everyone at risk when they get behind the wheel after an evening out, and those who use recreational drugs and certain powerful prescriptions can also cause crashes because of the physical consequences of the medication.
Impairment is a serious safety concern for everyone on the road, especially pedestrians. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that almost half of all pedestrian crashes (46%) involve alcohol in the driver, the pedestrian or both.
Distracted drivers may not notice when a pedestrian steps into the street ahead of them, even if they cross appropriately with the lights. A driver spending just five seconds to read a text could easily travel the length of a football field at higher speeds.
Distraction is also a risk when the pedestrian is the one paying attention to a phone instead of to their surroundings. Someone could step out into traffic and end up severely hurt because they didn’t check for oncoming traffic before doing so.
Walking at night tends to be more dangerous because drivers had a harder time spotting pedestrians and because they are less likely to actively look for them. Regardless of when someone goes out for a walk, they should be aware of how easy it is for drivers to overlook them.
Pedestrians can help reduce their risk of severe injury by crossing at marked locations, making themselves visible to drivers, avoiding alcohol, keeping their focus on the road and choosing pads near roads with lower speed limits whenever possible.
When pedestrians do end up hurt in a crash, they may have grounds to pursue a claim against the driver who caused the wreck. Insurance could cover their injury expenses, including lost wages. Those hit by a driver might also be able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit.
Taking steps to minimize your pedestrian collision risk will help you stay safe and make it easier for you to seek compensation if you ever do get hurt while out walking or running.