Maybe you are one of the many in Texas who own an activity tracking device. You wear it on your wrist and challenge yourself each day to meet your quota of steps. On the other hand, you may be someone who only walks when necessary. Whatever your level of activity, at some point during your week, you likely cross a street, a parking lot or another area where there is traffic.
A pedestrian is one of the most vulnerable people to be, especially with the kinds and numbers of distractions increasing so rapidly. Drivers are not always aware or alert to the presence of pedestrians, and this places you in a risky position when you must be out and about. You must take every precaution to keep yourself safe when you are walking.
Doing your part to stay safe
Every two hours, someone in the country is struck by a vehicle and suffers fatal injuries. Hundreds of thousands also end up in hospitals for treatment for injuries, many critical and life-changing. While young people, especially those between 15 and 29, are more likely to suffer injuries in pedestrian accidents, the older you are, the greater the chances that your injuries will be fatal. However, children, who have little experience negotiating traffic, have a very high chance of injury, including fatal injury, in a pedestrian accident.
Protecting yourself is critical. You can do your part to remain safe by following these suggestions from safety advocates:
- Use crosswalks and intersections when crossing the street.
- Stay on the sidewalk whenever possible.
- Walk facing traffic on the shoulder of the road when no sidewalk is available.
- Wear bright clothing and carry a flashlight when you walk at night.
- Avoid keeping your head down over your mobile device while you walk.
- Avoid using earphones that prevent you from hearing sounds of danger.
- Avoid walking after consuming alcohol.
Alcohol is one common factor in many pedestrian-versus-motor vehicle accidents. In fact, about 30 percent of pedestrians who die in traffic accidents have a blood alcohol level over the legal limit.
Even after taking these precautions, you may find yourself the victim of a careless, impaired or distracted driver. The results can include an extended hospital stay, surgeries, medications, therapy and a long recovery. You may even require continued care for the rest of your life. These do not come cheaply, and you certainly want the highest quality care you can obtain for the best chances of returning to health. With the help of a legal professional, you may be able to obtain compensation that will assist you.