You likely remember the warnings of your parents to look both ways before crossing the street. This early lesson in pedestrian safety has stuck with you, and you may believe yourself to be a relatively cautious person when you are on foot near traffic.
Unfortunately, the nature of traffic is changing with more factors distracting drivers, including the devices built right into the consoles of their vehicles. Looking both ways may not be enough to keep you from a devastating encounter with a motor vehicle.
Who is more at risk?
Perhaps more concerning to you is the safety of your children. School will be out soon, and they may have more opportunities to be around traffic with friends, on their bikes or on foot. Because children are often lower than the line of vision of most drivers, they are more vulnerable to being struck by a car. Additionally, they are not always conscious of their surroundings or understand the rules of the road. Pedestrian accidents are the cause of death 20 percent of the time for children under age 14.
If you have teens or young adults, you have greater cause for worry. Pedestrians between 15 and 29 suffer injuries requiring emergency room attention more often than any other age category. This may be for a variety of reasons, including:
- They may be distracted by their mobile devices.
- They may have consumed alcohol before walking.
- They may be less likely to obey the restrictions of crosswalks and do-not-walk signs.
- They may be wearing earphones that prevent them from hearing approaching vehicles.
Of course, children and teens are not the only ones susceptible to accidents as pedestrians. Even crossing a parking lot may place you in danger if a Florida driver is too busy looking for a parking space or answering a text message. In fact, about a dozen pedestrians die each day from injuries suffered after a car strikes them.
Following simple safety precautions, such as using crosswalks and carrying a flashlight at night, can give you an advantage when walking. However, there is always the chance that you or your loved one will not be able to get out of the way in time to avoid an accident with a motor vehicle. If that occurs, obtaining legal advice may be almost as important as seeking medical care.