At some point each day, most of us are a pedestrian, especially as we try to increase our time outdoors, and distance from others, amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Some stroll or jog for exercise, walk to school, to work, or to pick up lunch. Others are walking the dog or pushing a stroller. Being a pedestrian is a typical part of our day, especially in walkable cities like Providence, where sidewalks and pedestrian bridges are easily accessible to those on foot. Unfortunately, however, the rate of pedestrians killed in traffic crashes is at its highest in almost 20 years. According to the most recent data, 6,283 pedestrian fatalities were recorded in 2018. As a personal injury lawyer in Providence RI, Attorney David Tapalian has helped countless victims of pedestrian accidents seek compensation for their losses after they were injured by a reckless driver. Having seen such devastating injuries as a result of these often-preventable incidents, at Tapalian Law we were pleased to see the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) announce this October as the first National Pedestrian Safety Month.
The goal of Pedestrian Safety Month is to increase awareness of pedestrian safety to both drivers and walkers alike. With daylight savings time on the horizon, daylight hours will decrease and pedestrians will be outside when its darker, increasing the risk for a potential accident. During the months of September to February, over 30% of pedestrian fatalities occur between the hours of 6:00pm and 8:59pm, according to the NHTSA.
Safety is a Shared Responsibility
The safety of a pedestrian isn’t the sole responsibility of the person doing the walking or jogging. Pedestrian safety is a shared responsibility and belongs to both the pedestrian and drivers on the road. It’s vital that both the driver and the pedestrian are constantly alert, minimize distractions, and follow proper safety protocol in order to minimize the chance of injury or death from a tragic incident. As a personal injury attorney in Providence, Attorney Tapalian has seen pedestrian car accidents in Rhode Island where the pedestrian and/or the driver of the vehicle were distracted by technology, such as a cell phone or using headphones. As the operator of a motor vehicle, we must be extra vigilant of the severe damage a car, truck, or SUV, can cause to an unprotected person. Pedestrians too, must be watchful of approaching vehicles and are recommended not to use technology, such as earbuds, that curb their ability to hear an approaching car. The NHTSA offers the following safety tips for those behind the wheel, and those walking on foot.
Tips for Pedestrians
- Use sidewalks when available. If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far away from traffic as possible.
- Stay alert. Don’t use electronic devices, including earphones or earbuds, that take your eyes, ears, and attention off the road.
- Cross at crosswalks or intersections when available. If neither is available, cross at a well-lit area with a good view of traffic coming both ways and wait for a safe gap in traffic before crossing.
- Wear bright colors during the day, and reflective materials at night. Use a flashlight at night for extra visibility. Make eye contact with drivers to ensure you are seen.
- Be alert to cars entering, exiting, or backing up in driveways or parking lots.
Tips for Drivers
- Be alert for pedestrians at all times when driving. Be extra cautious when visibility is lessened, such as night time and during poor weather conditions.
- At crosswalks, slow down and be prepared to stop. Never pass a vehicle stopped at a crosswalk as people may be crossing that you cannot see.
- Always yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk. Leave plenty of room for them and for other vehicles to see and stop for them.
- Follow the speed limit, especially in areas where there are people around. Use extra caution and slow down in school zones and neighborhoods with children present.
- When backing up, use extra caution and don’t rely solely on technology like backup cameras. Young children, especially, are vulnerable to backover accidents.
Contact Tapalian Law for a Free Consultation of Your Accident Case
If you, or a loved one, have been a pedestrian hit by a car in an accident in Providence, RI, or elsewhere in Rhode Island or Massachusetts, contact an experienced Rhode Island personal injury lawyer to preserve your legal rights. Attorney David Tapalian offers a free consultation to determine your eligibility to file a personal injury claim against the driver who caused the accident. A negligent driver may be held responsible for your damages and losses including medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitative costs, and pain and suffering. As a client of Tapalian Law, our skilled Providence personal injury team will be by your side from start to finish until you receive compensation for your Rhode Island or Massachusetts car accident case. Contact us at 401-552-5000, or reach us online. Let us begin helping you today.