Now that the first day of summer has arrived, many of us will be out and about, and we will be walking to get where we are going. At some time during the day, each one of us is a pedestrian.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), fatal accidents involving pedestrians remain high with 5,977 deaths during 2017, which was a 1.7% decrease in the number of pedestrians killed in traffic accidents in the prior year of 2016.

According to the NHTSA, by following the safety tips set forth below, pedestrian deaths and injuries can be reduced and/or prevented.

The NHTSA has the following safety tips for walking:

  • -Just like the driver of a motor vehicle, a pedestrian should follow the rules of the road, including obeying signs and signals.
  • -Always walk on the sidewalk (and not in the street) if sidewalks are available to walk on.
  • -In the event that there is no sidewalk in the area where you are walking, then you should walk facing traffic and as far from the traffic as you can.
  • -Always be alert and keep your eyes on the road or the sidewall. This means that you should not use any electronic device which could distract you and cause you to take your eyes off the road (or that could cause you to be unable to hear traffic noises).
  • -It is a best practice to cross the street at the crosswalk or intersection and, when doing so, you should always look in every direction for motor vehicles.
  • -When there is no crosswalk or intersection, it is best to cross in an area that is well-lit so that you have the best possible view of traffic. When crossing, you should wait for a break in traffic that gives you enough time to cross safely, and you should continuously look for traffic as you cross.
  • -You cannot assume that a driver sees you when you are a pedestrian, and it is, therefore, helpful to make eye contact with drivers as they approach you. 
  • -Be visible as a pedestrian by wearing bright colored clothing during daylight hours and by wearing reflective materials and using a flashlight at night.
  • -Be careful to watch for cars entering and exiting driveways, as well as cars backing up in parking lots.
  • -Just like operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, walking while impaired can be just as dangerous, and the use of alcohol and drugs should be avoided when you are a pedestrian.

The lawyers at Liever, Hyman & Potter, P.C., are concerned for the safety of persons walking on the sidewalks and streets in Berks County and Schuylkill County, and serve auto, truck, and motorcycle accident victims and their families in Reading, PA, Pottsville, PA, and throughout Eastern and Central Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia. The lawyers there handle injury claims, including claims for serious injuries and death caused by the negligence of other vehicle operators.

From the Desk of Adam K. Levin, Esquire.

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