The number of pedestrians injured in accidents involving collisions with cars is too high. Ordinances have been put in place requiring motorists to keep a safe distance between themselves and pedestrians, but drivers may ignore these rules. Motor vehicle operators may forget to check their side mirrors before making a right turn, and pedestrians must stay alert to protect their own lives and back up to the curb.
Preventing Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents are a significant problem and not specific to any location. Pedestrians may go unnoticed in colorful urban jungles and laid back suburban areas as well. Many places have created dedicated sideways with shoulders that cars can’t pass over in order to prevent these accidents. The issue of pedestrian injury from motor vehicle drivers could be traced back to primarily two different problems:
- Visibility and Awareness
A more distinct separation of lanes of traffic and a much more significant emphasis on traffic awareness in driver education programs could reduce the number of pedestrian accidents involving injuries or fatalities. Initiatives to reengineer urban roadways have been successful in some areas.
Since pedestrian accidents are quite common within the first hour after schools close, safe routes should be established for children walking to and from school or the bus stop. Children should also be educated on pedestrian safety.
Traffic awareness education is both a state and federal governance. In European countries, motor vehicle drivers are forced to take extensive driver’s education courses to get their license. These courses involve classroom work with audiovisual tools teaching situational awareness training and behind-the-wheel training. A mandatory number of instructor-led hours of driving are required as well. During these sessions, instructors correct student drivers on their level of situational awareness and alertness. Driving school is taken quite seriously in these countries.
- Distracted Driving
Driver education is also a significant factor involved in reducing the number of incidents involving car collisions with pedestrians. Distracted driving is becoming an ever-present danger to pedestrians. Driving with a cell phone in hand, eating while driving, and doing other things that take attention and eyes off the road creates hazardous conditions for pedestrians.
Beyond driver’s education in situational and traffic awareness, drivers also need to be educated in courtesy and civism. They should learn to scan the road and any traffic hazards well ahead of time. Drivers should also be taught simple techniques to avoid confrontational situations. There is no substitute for maintaining alertness and personal commitment to acceptable roadway behavior. Education should increase motorists’ awareness of pedestrian presence on the streets and roads.
However, education only goes so far. Punishments for distracted driving should be harsher. Fines should be prohibitively expensive for drivers of all ages. Distraction-related accidents should lead to the loss of one’s driving privileges, mandatory driver’s education classes, and steep fines, just as DUI does. Awareness campaigns have helped to decrease drunk driving incidents, and the same could potentially work for distracted driving.
Personal injury attorneys have only so many legal tools available to provide adequate compensation for pedestrians who fall victim to distracted driving. A good attorney will use every tool afforded by the law to seek compensation for you if you were injured in a pedestrian accident. If you or a loved one is badly harmed due to a car driver’s distracted driving or negligence, contact a pedestrian accident lawyer, to schedule a consultation.