The coronavirus pandemic has most of us working out of our homes these days. Essential workers are still going out, but the rest of us are telecommuting. This has reduced vehicle traffic, which should result in fewer auto accidents. On the flipside, however, more people being at home means more people going out for walks. We also have some people going out for drives just to get out of the house.
The increased number of people walking of course heightens the risk of pedestrian accidents, and these accidents can result in some of the most serious and catastrophic injuries. Unlike vehicle occupants, someone who is out walking does not have a steel cage to protect them, so when they are struck by a car or truck, there is not much that separates their body from hitting the pavement. To make matters worse, with fewer cars on the road, those that are out there will be traveling at higher speeds, which increases the likelihood of deadly collisions.
Tips for Preventing Pedestrian Accidents during the Coronavirus or Anytime
Both motorists and pedestrians need to be aware of the heightened danger of a collision when there are more people walking:
- Be Seen: Do everything you can to stay visible, so drivers on the road can see you. If you are walking during the day, put on brightly colored clothing. If you are walking at night, put on lightly colored or reflective clothing. Walk in well-lit areas whenever possible, and always try to make eye contact with drivers before you walk across the road in front of them.
- Be Predictable: Be familiar with all of the traffic laws and rules wherever you are walking and follow them. For example, do not cross the road in places where it is illegal, dangerous, or unexpected. Stick to designated crosswalks and places where it is safe and legal, and always make sure that traffic is clear before you cross.
- Be Alert: Pay attention to where you are walking and do your best to avoid unnecessary distractions. Most of us like to stay connected using our smartphones, but it is not a good idea to send and receive electronic messages while you are walking. If you need to send a text, stop walking and resume walking when you are done. Also, if you are listening to music, keep it low enough so you can still hear vehicles that are passing nearby.
- Be Sober: Alcohol is a factor in approximately half of all pedestrian accidents. Most of these accidents are caused by a drunk driver, but about one-third of them involve an intoxicated pedestrian.
- Be Aware: Be mindful of higher pedestrian traffic, especially when you are driving around in your own neighborhood.
- Be Lawful: Follow all of the rules of the road. Avoid excessive speeding and other forms of aggressive or reckless driving, such as running stop signs, going through red lights, making dangerous turns, and not yielding the right-of-way.
- Be Awake: A surprising number of motorists drive while they are drowsy or fatigued, and this behavior is most likely to happen during the late evening or early morning hours. Drowsy driving can result in a motorist falling asleep at the wheel, which can cause deadly consequences for themselves and others on the road. But even if this does not happen, a sleepy driver still tends to make poorer driving decisions.
- Be Alert: Walking while distracted by a smartphone can be dangerous, but distracted driving is even worse. Texting while driving and other forms of electronic activity on a smartphone distract drivers in three ways; manually, visually, and cognitively. The end result is that the driver’s entire focus is directed on their phone and away from the road. This can cause drivers to miss important details, such as someone crossing the road in front of them.
- Be Sober: Alcohol and driving never mix well. Numerous studies have shown that driving while intoxicated greatly increases the risk of causing an accident, and there have been countless tragic and senseless deaths over the years because of drunk driving. Stay sober when you drive – for your own safety and the safety of everyone else on the road.
Injured in a Pedestrian Accident in Alabama? Hedge Copeland is Here to Help
If you or a loved one suffered injury in a pedestrian accident that was caused by someone else, you may be entitled to compensation. After seeking medical attention, the next step should be to speak with an experienced attorney to evaluate your case and discuss your legal rights and options.
During this difficult time for our country, we here at Hedge Copeland want you to know that we are still open and fully operational. We are taking all the precautions and following all the social distancing guidelines, but we have the technology and resources to continue providing the skilled personalized representation our clients have always received.
For a free consultation with one of our attorneys, message us online or call us today at 251 – 432 – 8844. We are ready to serve you!