The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) recently published a report on pedestrian accidents in the US. According to the report, almost 6,000 pedestrians were killed during 2017. The report also found that pedestrian accidents in Washington DC have increased since 2016.
Why are so many pedestrians being killed in the US? GHSA’s report found speeding, failure to yield and distractions are the primary causes of death. In addition, the GHSA report also suggests legal marijuana usage may have contributed to an increase in the number of fatalities. Seven states who legalized marijuana between 2012 and 2016 experienced a collective 16.7 percent increase in pedestrian accidents. Other causes of pedestrian accidents mentioned in the report include:
- Alcohol impairment (by the pedestrian or motorist)
- Texting and walking
- Texting and driving
How to Be a Safe Pedestrian
There are ways to reduce your chances of being involved in a pedestrian accident.
- Be cautious with alcohol. You should avoid walking around busy streets or intersections if you are under the influence of alcohol. It goes without saying that you are more likely to be involved in an accident if your judgment, senses and ability to react to situations are impaired.
- Avoid distractions. Texting and walking should be avoided. This is true whether you are at a busy intersection or walking down a sidewalk. You could trip over hazards or be hit by vehicles. GHSA’s report suggests distracted walking is a primary reason why fatal pedestrian accidents are at an all-time high. Earbuds can also be distracting.
- Look both ways. Always remember to look both ways when crossing the street. You could also make eye contact with motorists at intersections to ensure they can see you crossing.
- Increase your visibility. Try to carry a flashlight if you are going to walk at night in an unlit area. You could also wear bright or reflective clothing.
What if I’m Hurt in a Pedestrian Accident?
You could still be involved in a pedestrian accident even if you follow the tips listed above. Depending on the circumstances, you may have options to seek compensation if you or a loved one were harmed in a pedestrian accident. You could speak to a Washington DC personal injury lawyer at Regan Zambri Long PLLC to determine whether you could seek compensation.