A new year is upon us and as with each new year, millions of Americans will be taking to the road, not by means of a vehicle, but as pedestrians. Every year Americans make New Year’s Resolutions and one of the most popular resolutions for many is to be more active and to get in shape. With the beautiful weather and mild winters in Southwest Florida, many Floridians and “Snow-Birds” will take to the road on their venture to better health. While walking, jogging or running may seem like a great, safe way to get active, there are some safety precautions to take when strolling along the roads in your community.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2015, 5,376 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in the United States and nearly 129,000 pedestrians were treated in emergency room departments for non-fatal crash related injuries.
While drivers carry a responsibility to pay attention to all of their surroundings while on the road, pedestrians equally share this responsibility while crossing the roads or walking on sidewalks.
Laws for Pedestrians
Drivers of vehicles are not the only ones who have laws to follow, there are laws for pedestrians as well. Some of these laws include:
· Pedestrians must walk on the sidewalk when one is provided.
· Pedestrians must obey all traffic signals and only cross when the pedestrian light is green, provided they still look to make sure traffic has stopped.
· Pedestrians have the right of way on marked crosswalks but must still look to ensure that the road is safe to cross.
· Pedestrians may not stand on roadways paved for vehicle traffic to solicit employment, business or ride. These are just a few of the laws for pedestrians. Learn more about Pedestrian Laws
Preventing Pedestrian Accidents
· Always walk on the sidewalk or a path. If a sidewalk is not available, then walk on the shoulder of the road facing the traffic.
· Always cross the street at designated crosswalks.
· If walking early in the morning or late in the evening, wear bright reflective clothing and carry a flashlight to increase your visibility when it gets dark.
· If your local park or recreation area has walking paths, take advantage of those areas for your daily walks and avoid venturing out near the roads and traffic altogether.
If you are hit by a Car as a Pedestrian
If you or someone you know has been hit by a car as a pedestrian, it is important to seek advice from an attorney experienced in pedestrian accidents. Selecting an experienced attorney can help you receive the compensation you deserve. The attorneys at Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz have been helping clients for over 50 years. We provide a free consultation to discuss your case and determine what can be done to protect your rights. Call today to schedule your appointment.