The benefits of daily exercise—and especially walking— are clear. You can trim your waistline, strengthen your bones, ward off heart trouble, and feel better all around. Whether you are walking to work or taking a jaunt on your lunch hour though, safety is key—and especially if you are traveling on foot in an urban area with lots of traffic and crosswalks.
As a pedestrian, you are at a distinct disadvantage in traffic due to a general lack of protection for your body as you travel amidst vehicles that weigh 4,000 pounds or more. While a car accident can be terribly dangerous, when a car hits an individual in traffic, the results are often much worse. Thousands of pedestrian injuries occur each year, many of which are caused by drivers who are distracted, tired, impaired by drugs and/or alcohol, or speeding; in fact, carelessness and high speeds near crosswalks lead to injuries and fatalities all too often.
Older pedestrians as well as children are at higher risk too. Seniors may be disabled or just take longer to get across the street, and children may not have a sense of urgency about getting to the other side—or may not understand traffic rules.
While drivers must drive defensively, pedestrians can walk defensively too:
- When using crosswalks, always walk according to the appropriate rules and light signals. In less congested areas, make eye contact with motorists as well as doublechecking to make sure they have come to a complete stop, or raise a hand or arm to make it clear to them that you are crossing.
- Travel in well-lit areas and avoid walking in less populated areas at night where motorists may not expect pedestrians. When possible, use designated walking paths instead of traveling on the side of the road.
- Wear brightly colored clothing, especially at night.
- Avoid drugs and alcohol while mixing in traffic. Far too many pedestrian injuries and deaths involve the use of alcohol by those driving and walking.
- Always be aware of your surroundings. Many pedestrians are far too distracted by their cellphones or other electronics or items, walking with their heads down. Stay alert and be safe!
If you or a loved one have been injured as a pedestrian due to the negligence of others, please call Heintz & Becker for a free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys. We handle all types of Florida personal injury cases, and our law firm has established an impressive record of verdicts and settlements. If you have been seriously injured, call us now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!
All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.