Whether you like to drive, bike, or ride as your main source of transportation, you have something in common with every single person on the road: you have been a pedestrian at some point in your life.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) “Everyone Is a Pedestrian” campaign seeks to educate people about safe walking.
This is an extremely important subject: each year, thousands of pedestrians are killed in the United States. According to the NHTSA, pedestrians were “one of the few groups of road users to experience an increase in fatalities in 2011.” The number of people killed while walking increased 4 percent from 2010 to 2011, then increased another 6 percent from 2011 to 2012.
In 2012 (the latest data available), 4,743 pedestrians were killed nationwide. Of those people, 8 were Alaskans. In Alaska, pedestrians deaths made up 13.6 percent of all total traffic-related deaths—a percentage that is relatively high when compared to other states.
The people most vulnerable include children and the elderly. Men are also more likely than women to die in a pedestrian accident.
At Kelley & Canterbury LLC, we think even one pedestrian death is too much. We want our Anchorage and Alaska community members to stay safe, whether they are driving, biking, riding, or walking.
We recommend that you follow the “Everyone Is a Pedestrian” tips for walking safely. These tips include:
- Follow the rules of the road, and obey all signs and signals.
- Walk on sidewalks whenever possible.
- If there isn’t a sidewalk available, walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible.
- Stay alert: don’t use headphones or walk while looking at your phone or other electronic device.
- Cross streets at crosswalks or intersections whenever possible.
- Stay visible: wear bright, reflective clothing, especially at night, or use a flashlight.
- Watch for cars coming into or out of driveways and parking lots.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs when walking: they impair your judgment and abilities just like they would if you were driving.
- Don’t assume that drivers see you: always make eye contact to ensure that you are seen.
Of course, the old adage, “Look both ways before you cross the street” applies here.
While you can’t completely eliminate your risk of getting into a pedestrian accident, you can reduce it. And if you do have the misfortune of being injured while walking, please call the experienced Anchorage pedestrian accident lawyers at our firm for help.
Photo Credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/5253162589/”>Keoni Cabral</a> via <a href=”http://compfight.com”>Compfight</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a>