Many Bellaire area residents like to go walking or jogging to get in their daily exercise. However, pedestrians and joggers face risks when they share the road with cars. In 2019, the number of pedestrians killed on U.S. roads hit a 30-year high, according to the Governors Highway Safety Administration. More than 6,500 lost their lives last year when they were involved in an accident with a vehicle.
Why pedestrian road deaths are increasing
Safety experts believe there are numerous reasons why pedestrian road deaths are increasing. Some of those include the following:
- More drivers are distracted drivers. With the increased use of cell phones behind the wheel, drivers miss seeing pedestrians in the roadway.
- Drivers are choosing to purchase heavier vehicles, such as SUVs and pickups, which result in accidents with more force. When hit by an SUV, pedestrians are twice as likely to die than if a car hit them.
- More drivers are speeding, increasing the risk of accidents.
Safety tips for drivers
Drivers can practice these safety tips to avoid hitting a pedestrian or jogger:
- Be on the lookout for pedestrians and joggers at all times, especially at intersections, crosswalks or in neighborhoods or school zones.
- Always yield to a pedestrian in a sidewalk.
- Never pass a vehicle stopped at a crosswalk. Most likely, the driver stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross.
- Slow down. Don’t speed, especially in areas where pedestrians are more likely to be present.
- Don’t drive distracted or drive drunk.
Safety tips for pedestrians
Pedestrians and joggers can stay safer by following these safety tips:
- Use crosswalks and bike paths as much as possible.
- Wear bright, reflective clothing, especially in the early morning hours or at dusk or night.
- Cross streets at marked crosswalks or at intersections or in well-lit areas.
- Try to make eye contact with approaching drivers so you know they see you.
- Don’t listen to load music with headphones or use your phone while trying to cross the street.
Pedestrians who receive serious injuries in a motor vehicle crash should consult a personal injury attorney. An attorney can help you get the compensation you need to focus on your recovery. Families who lose a loved one because of a pedestrian crash also may want to consult an attorney. They may seek compensation through a wrongful death claim, helping them cover costs for their loved one’s lost income and their suffering from losing a family member because of a negligent driver.