While the number of fatalities in car crashes has gone down recently, the number of pedestrian accidents has been steadily increasing since 2004. The most recent statistics show that pedestrian accidents account for a whopping 14% of crash fatalities. And Idaho isn’t exempt. 245 Idaho pedestrians were involved in crashes in 2014; among those pedestrians, there were 14 fatalities and 55 serious injuries. 2 of those fatalities were children under the age of 3. The fact is: being a pedestrian is dangerous even in rural Idaho. Here are 5 ways to prevent pedestrian crashes.
Drivers: look before you back out
It’s always a good idea to check what’s around your car before you even get in. Look for children and other pedestrians, and back out slowly and cautiously. It’s important to remember that your field of vision is greatly reduced when in reverse, so take your time. There’s no rush, and your caution just might save a life.
Drivers: look before you turn
Yes, it’s legal to turn right on a red light, but before you do, you should always come to at least a near stop. Before you make that turn, look for pedestrians who may be trying to cross the street. Make eye contact with them and wave them across; they’ll appreciate the gesture and feel safer crossing knowing that you’ve got their back.
Pedestrians: times to be extra cautious
The most dangerous time for pedestrians is after 6 p.m. As the day transitions into evening, visibility quickly decreases. So for your own sake, take extra precautions during the evening hours. Stick to the crosswalks and make eye contact with drivers before you cross. Pay special attention during the winter months, when both visibility and icy roads are working against you.
Pedestrians: don't jaywalk
69% of pedestrian fatalities occur outside of an intersection, so don’t jaywalk. A crosswalk is a designated safe-space for pedestrians, so it’s in your best interest to cross there. Sure, you always have the right-of-way, but you shouldn’t count on drivers to pay attention. Watch out for yourself, and wait for the walk signal at the intersection.
Parents: keep your children close
21% of pedestrian fatalities in the United States are children 14 or younger. Parents should make sure to talk to their kids about being safe while crossing the street. Teach them to look both ways and make eye contact with the driver, and to wait for the walk signal at intersections and then look again, just to be extra safe. Talk to your children about how important it is for them to stay near you, especially in parking lots and crosswalks.
The consequences of a pedestrian accident can be disastrous; and the victim of such an accident should never feel like they are on their own. When standard measures for seeking compensation fail or come up short, an experienced accident attorney can help. For more information, call us at (208) 577-5300 or fill out the free online consultation form on this page.
Photo via Flickr.