According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were more than 4,400 pedestrian fatalities in 2011. In 2012, there were more than 4,700 fatalities, indicating a six-percent increase over 2011. This data is equivalent to one pedestrian suffering fatal injuries every two-hours.
Who is a Pedestrian?
In essence, everyone is a pedestrian. For safety guidelines, however, the NHTSA has classified several categories as pedestrians, including anyone who is:
- On foot
- Sitting or lying down
Most pedestrian accidents occur in urban areas where roadway sidewalks are popular travel lanes for pedestrians. Crosswalks in urban areas are another common site where pedestrian accidents occur. Many pedestrians and motorists fail to follow rules and regulations regarding crosswalk safety and use.
How to Be a Safe Pedestrian
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) operates a “Walk this Way!” campaign designed to bring awareness to pedestrian safety concerns. Part of the campaign is bringing awareness to the individuals who are most likely to suffer from a pedestrian accident. Such awareness includes the fact that almost one-quarter of traffic-related fatalities to children younger than 14 are pedestrian-related. Additionally, the chances of being seriously injured or killed in a pedestrian accident increases with age, making the elderly population a high-risk classification.
In order to reduce the number of pedestrian-related traffic injuries and fatalities, the CDC has offered the following safety tips:
- Only cross the street at designated crosswalks, and only cross with the walk signal, never against a red light
- Be mindful that some intersections allow drivers the ability to turn onto cross streets after yielding to pedestrian traffic. Exercise great caution when crossing the road at such intersections
- If you plan to be near the roadway at night, wear reflective clothing and take a flashlight with you to increase visibility
- If you cannot walk within an established sidewalk, walk on the road against the flow of traffic for ultimate visibility, and move to the shoulder when cars pass by
- Practice safe pedestrian skills with children, especially those who may have to cross a street on school grounds or near buses
Unfortunately, even the most cautious pedestrian can fall victim to a serious accident. If the accident was caused by the negligence of another person, the trauma and stress of the situation can be even more difficult to bear. Fortunately, Kansas has laws in place designed to protect the rights and best interests of individuals who are injured due to the negligence of others. What’s more, injured victims do not have to face the aftermath of an accident alone.
Get Help after a Pedestrian Accident
If you or a loved one has been injured as a pedestrian, you likely have questions about how to proceed, if you can file a claim, and what your rights are. Do not hesitate to get the help you need after an injurious accident. Count on the experience of Lenexa, Kansas Personal Injury Attorney Michael R. Lawless at the law firm of Michael R. Lawless, P.A. With more than 27 years of experience, Michael R. Lawless knows how to examine every aspect of your accident claim to determine if you are eligible to file a personal injury claim. Contact the law office of Michael R. Lawless, P.A. today to set up a free consultation and start getting the answers you need. Call our office toll-free at (800) 734-3771. You can also contact us online and we will promptly respond to your message.