There are many causes of pedestrian-vehicle accidents, which makes it difficult to protect yourself at all times. Even so, understanding the most common causes goes a long way in keeping you out of harm’s way.
Drivers don’t always take extra caution when operating a vehicle in close proximity to pedestrians. This alone increases the risk of an accident. Some of the factors often contributing to driver negligence include:
- Speeding and other forms of reckless driving, (such as illegal passing)
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Neglecting to following traffic signals and signs
- Disregarding weather conditions, such as rain
- Disregarding traffic conditions, such as construction zones
As a pedestrian, you don’t have control over drivers. You can watch them closely, but even then, there’s only so much you can do to maintain your safety.
Here are some things you never want to do as a pedestrian:
- Don’t cross the road when you feel like it; use designated crosswalks
- Don’t dart into traffic
- Don’t disrupt the flow of traffic
- Don’t cross the street before looking both ways (twice)
If you do any of these things, you greatly increase the risk of being struck by a motor vehicle.
What to do after a pedestrian-vehicle accident
Preparing for the worst is a good idea, as it ensures that you know exactly what to do if you’re hit by a motor vehicle. Take these steps:
- Immediately call 911 for help (or have a witness do so for you)
- Administer first aid to any injuries, if possible
- Receive medical treatment as quickly as possible
- Follow the advice of your medical team
- Learn more about the accident, such as by reading the police report
- Contact your insurance company to better understand if you have any coverage for this type of accident
Your health is more important than anything else, but you’ll want to take steps to protect your legal rights. This starts with reading the police report and digging around to learn more about the cause of the accident.
With knowledge of what went wrong and a focus on your legal rights as a pedestrian, you can take steps to hold the negligent party responsible for their actions.