Residents in Seattle may not realize it, but almost everyday everyone is considered a pedestrian at some point, even if he or she is not walking as their primary mode of transportation. A motorist becomes a pedestrian when they travel to and from their vehicles, and this often makes parking lots the location of auto-pedestrian accidents.
In addition to parking lots, crosswalks, sidewalks and the edge of roadways are areas where pedestrian safety is a major concern. Unlike a vehicle, people are not able to evade hazards, speed up, stop abruptly or even protect themselves from injuries in the event of an accident. Because of that, many pedestrian accidents happen suddenly, resulting in serious and even fatal collisions.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 4,735 pedestrians were killed in automobile crashes in 2013. This amounts to a pedestrian being killed every two hours. It was also found that roughly 14 percent of all traffic fatalities and three percent of those injured in traffic crashes were pedestrians.
In order to reduce such tragic crashes, pedestrian safety is a focus in cities across the nation. By providing awareness and tips to residents of all ages, the goal is to reduce deaths and injuries caused by auto-pedestrian accidents. For children, this means establishing a safe walking route and practicing safety habits such as crossing the road at crosswalks and when it is safe to do so. Additionally, this means that schools within the community provide guidance and supervision to students that walk to and from school.
Improving pedestrian safety for adults entails improving the walkability within neighborhoods and cities. This might mean constructing sidewalks, increasing signs and using more signaled crosswalks. While there are steps to improve the safety for pedestrians, these incidents unfortunately can still occur. Those harmed in a pedestrian accident should understand the recourses available to them, which could help the victim recover compensation for the losses and damages suffered in the incident.
Source: Nhtsa.gov, "Everyone is a Pedestrian," accessed Jan. 4, 2016