No one has ever denied the physical and mental health benefits of taking a nice walk, and with the advent of smartwatches and fitness trackers, our daily steps have become as much of a talking point as ever. Unfortunately, however, the pedestrian’s risk of injury from a nearby car accident is always present, especially in populated urban areas.
According to the Governers Highway Safety Association (GHSA), there were 6,227 pedestrians killed by traffic incidents in 2018 alone. Pedestrian deaths now account for over 15 of all traffic fatalities. If you’ve suffered injuries as a pedestrian from a nearby accident, call the trusted personal injury attorneys from Van Law Firm right away.
Below, we will discuss steps you can take (no pun intended) to avoid being injured as a pedestrian, as well as the proper response if an accident has already happened.
Ways to Prevent Being Injured by a Car While as a Pedestrian
When you’re out and about, there are some small things you can do to reduce your chances of injury:
Always Stay off the Road
Limiting yourself to stay within sidewalks and crosswalks will not only keep you safer from collisions, it will also protect you legally, as you may not be able to file suit if it is discovered that you were not following proper safety signals and guidelines.
Don’t Assume Anything
You should do everything with the assumption that drivers are not paying attention. Don’t take unnecessary chances under the pretext that “they probably see me.” Even if you are right 1,000 times, you will likely only be wrong once.
Check Your Blind Spots
Never make a decision without an unobstructed view. If you need to cross a street or walk through a parking lot, look past any parked cars or structures that may block your view. Even if a car sees you and stops, the person behind them may not understand the stoppage and try to shoot around.
Limited Phone Usage
Ideally, you should not focus on your phone at all while walking in open areas near traffic, but that seems less and less possible as time goes by. So, only check your screen when you have ample space and time, such as when you stopped waiting for a walk signal.
Avoid Noise-Cancelling Headphones
Similarly to phones, wireless headphones have skyrocketed in popularity. Noise cancellation is nice indoors, but dangerous in public. Lower the volume until you can hear traffic sounds or keep one ear open.
Wear Brightly-Colored or Reflective Clothing
Inclimate weather or low-light scenarios require clothing that is high visibility or reflective. This goes back to the concept of never assuming drivers can see you.
I’ve Been Hit By a Vehicle, What Now?
Some accidents are inevitable, no matter how safely you act. In the event that a vehicle hits you while you’re walking, follow these steps calmly and quickly.
Get to Safety Immediately
If you have the ability to move, get to a safe area immediately. Move off the road before checking your injuries.
Keep Your Eyes on the Driver
After an accident, some drivers may panic and try to flee before authorities arrive. Stay focused on the guilty party and if they do leave, don’t risk further harm by trying to detain them. Simply take note of their vehicle, license plate, and any other identifying information.
Call the Police As Quickly as You Can
The moment you are in a safe position, get the police to respond to the scene. They will take over the investigative process, and their accident report is a vital piece of evidence for your future case. Not to mention, they can also perform a sobriety test on the driver if impairment is suspected.
As Much Information As Possible
If you can, exchange contact and insurance information with the driver. Additionally, if there are witnesses, try to get their information as well for a statement (if they are willing, of course).
As Many Pictures As Possible
There is no such thing as too much evidence. If you can, take pictures of everything from your injuries to the car and anything else of note.
Get Medical Help
If you are severely injured at the scene, EMTs and first responders will take you to get care immediately. However, you should still seek medical attention for any injury, no matter how mild. The reason for this–other than your health–is so that opposing parties can never say that you didn’t seek treatment right away.
Open a Claim With the Driver’s Insurer
If you have the driver’s insurance info, call the insurer and file a claim with only the following information:
- Date of the incident
- Location of the incident
- Name of driver
If they press you for additional information, stand strong and do not give them anything else.
Contact Trusted Personal Injury Attorneys
If you want to ensure that all pertinent evidence is preserved and that opposing insurers pay full compensation, then you’ll need to retain a qualified personal injury attorney . Van Law Firm has helped hundreds of accident victims get the treatment and reimbursement they so rightfully deserved, and we can do the same for you. Call our office nearest you to learn more about how VLF can help.