Whether in a rural part of the country or in a densely populated urban center, crossing the safe street crossing can be life-saving. Teaching children to “look both ways” or “left-right-left” is only one aspect of pedestrian safety. While the first step to traffic safety for pedestrians, motorists and cycling is awareness, there are number of other safety measures that can help keep pedestrians safe.
In 2011, there were 4,432 pedestrians killed while crossing the street. This staggering figure highlights the importance of traffic safety and should make motorists more aware when approaching an intersection. Our Charleston car accident attorneys are dedicated to keeping our community safe and in bringing awareness to pedestrian safety in North and South Carolina.
Here are several other factors to keep you and your loved ones safe when crossing an intersection:
Stay sober. While drunk-driving is an obvious safety issue, many people do not realize that 48% of pedestrian accidents involve a drunk driver or drunk pedestrian. According to the Department of Transportation, alcohol impairs walking ability, perception and judgment which could result in an accident or injury.
Use a crosswalk. It may seem self-evident to use a crosswalk, but many pedestrians think it is just as safe to run across the street at any point. Seventy percent of pedestrian fatalities occurred in non-crosswalk crossings, which means that the intersection can give a driver advanced warning and keep you safe.
Be more careful at night. While you cannot always avoid crossing a street at night, you should be extra cautious. Drivers may not see you, even if you think they can. Remember that 70% of all pedestrian fatalities occur at night.
Urban dwellers and visitors should be more careful. City life means more cars, more bikes, and more pedestrians. When living or visiting a densely populated area, pedestrians should be more cautious and not assume that a driver sees them or is going to stop. Three out of four pedestrian deaths occur in cities.
Be careful on the weekends. Thirty-nine percent of pedestrian fatalities occur on weekend nights. This may involve drinking and driving or reduced vision and distraction. When crossing the intersection on the weekends, you should pay attention to vehicles and never assume that a driver can see you.
Males may be at a higher risk. According to reports, more than 2/3 of pedestrians killed are males. They also had a higher rate of accidents in every age group, 0-85. Whether they are willing to take more risks or are more likely to be out on the street at night, males should be wary when crossing the street, especially if they have been drinking.
Nationwide, pedestrian accidents have resulted in serious injury and fatality. Victims can suffer broken bones and head injuries as well as devastating permanent injuries, including loss of brain function or paralysis. In the worst cases, accidents can be fatal to victims. Pedestrians in South Carolina should be extra wary of crossing the street–it is one of the top three states for pedestrian fatalities.