How to Avoid Pedestrian Accidents This Summer
The warmer months are approaching along with an influx of people who will be walking, bicycling, and jogging. Motorists should use extra caution to avoid injuring pedestrians during the summer months, but pedestrians also have a responsibility for their own safety. Drivers and pedestrians need to exercise proper responsibility and care to avoid such accidents.
When accidents do occur, it is often up to the driver to prove that negligence was not a factor. The Highway Traffic Act imposes a reverse onus on drivers who impact pedestrians on a public highway. The driver of a motor vehicle is generally considered to be negligent unless he or she can prove otherwise. To do so, the driver must show that his or her actions were reasonable and proper.
Tips for Pedestrians:
- Always remain alert. It is your responsibility to keep an eye out for motor vehicles. If you’re walking with your head down, looking at a cell phone, or adjusting the music on your iPod, your attention is not on the road.
- Use crosswalks when they are available. Motor vehicles expect to see people crossing at crosswalks, so cars and trucks usually slow down when approaching these designated pedestrian areas.
- Always walk on the sidewalk if one exists. In more rural areas, or where sidewalks don’t exist, always walk facing traffic.
- Make eye contact with approaching vehicles. It’s never a good idea to assume a driver sees you. Making direct eye contact helps ensure that the driver is aware of your presence.
- Don’t blend in. Wearing brightly colored clothing or reflective gear helps you stand out. If you are walking at night, it’s helpful to use a flashlight.
Tips for Drivers:
- Slow down when around pedestrians
- Yield to pedestrians at all crosswalks, marked and unmarked
- Look for eye contact from pedestrians waiting to cross the street
- Watch for pedestrians when making a turn
- Give older pedestrians the time they need to cross the street
- In bad weather, brake earlier when stopping for a pedestrian
- Follow special guidelines around disabled pedestrians
- Use caution around schools or places where children play
- Drink and drive
- Pass when the car in front of you is stopped at a crosswalk
- Stop your car in the middle of a crosswalk
- Block a sidewalk
- Drive aggressively
- Drive distracted
Horn Law – Personal Injury Attorneys
If you or someone you know has been injured or involved in a car/pedestrian accident Horn Law can help. We represent clients in Kansas City, Independence, Blue Springs, Lee’s Summit, and all of Missouri. Our legal team understands the physical, emotional, and financial toll that accidents can have. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, property damages, and pain and suffering. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation.