Unfortunately, many pedestrian accidents that leave pedestrians seriously injured, killed, facing brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and other life-threatening ailments, are hit and run accidents. While some motorists stop to assist pedestrians who have been injured in a collision, many motorists who accidentally or intentionally hit a pedestrian leave the scene of the crime.
USA Today has reported that fatalities in hit and run accidents have increased 20% since 2000. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 974 pedestrians were killed in hit and run accidents in 2005 alone. According to the AAA Foundation for pedestrians account for 60% of those killed in hit and run accidents. Between 1994 and 2003, 14,914 people were killed in hit and run accidents. Obviously, the statistics are sobering.
There are many ways a pedestrian can avoid collisions with motorists:
1) Even when at a crosswalk, look to your right and to your left twice before starting to cross the street. This allows you to look for turning vehicles, and vehicles who do not obey traffic signals.
2) Obey traffic signals. If you’re on foot, and you feel that a car is still a long way off, it can be tempting to walk across a crosswalk on a red light. However, obeying traffic signals is important. Traffic signals are in place to keep you safe, and in some cases you may misjudge how close a car is or how quickly it is going. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
3) Stay alert and aware of cars as they come near you and pass you. Yes, cars and motorists are supposed to be aware of pedestrians and offer right-of-way. However, not all motorists obey the laws. Unfortunately, if a motorist is not obeying the laws and you are injured, the odds of you as a pedestrian being seriously injured are quite high, while it is very possible that the motorist will be uninjured. Just because you see a motorist, that does not mean that the driver sees you. Even if the driver sees you, that does not mean that he or she will give you the right-of-way or stop in time. Exercise caution.
4) Always walk on sidewalks or away from the roadway in areas where there are no sidewalks. Where possible, always remain on sidewalks or on areas that are designed specifically for pedestrians. If this is not possible, stay as far away from the vehicles area of the road as you can.
5) Wear visible clothes, especially when walking at night. Reflective clothing at night is a good idea, since it allows motorists to see you.