Colder weather reduces the number of walkers in New Mexico. However, that doesn’t mean that drivers can relax when it comes to pedestrian safety. Now is a great time to review this subject and remember that cold and snowy weather still means people will be out walking in areas shared by traffic.
Understanding the risks
The statistics around pedestrian accidents are dire, with the CDC reporting nearly 6,000 pedestrian deaths due to traffic collisions in 2017. To put it in perspective, during that year, one pedestrian died every 88 minutes. What’s more, pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely to die due to a motor vehicle accident than people actually inside the vehicles. Even injury numbers are startling, with around 137,000 pedestrians needing medical attention after a traffic accident where no one was killed.
Certain people face a higher risk of being involved in a pedestrian accident. It may be no surprise that alcohol increases the risk of a crash, whether the driver or pedestrian is the intoxicated party. Pedestrians over the age of 65 and children under the age of 15 also have a higher risk. Other factors that increase the possibility of a pedestrian accident include lower visibility at night, speeding, being in a city, and crossing at places other than an intersection.
How to avoid a pedestrian accident
For obvious reasons, collisions between vehicles and pedestrians generally have a more serious effect on the pedestrian. However, there are ways for you and your family to protect yourself and prevent pedestrian accidents from happening.
There are several measures you can take to help you avoid a pedestrian accident. Always walk on a sidewalk whenever possible. If there is no sidewalk, make sure to walk against traffic on the shoulder of the road. Do your best to use official crosswalks and try not to listen to music on headphones, especially after drinking. If you have to walk at night, take a flashlight and wear reflective clothing to help drivers see you.
Despite any safety precautions you may take, you or someone you care about could be the victim of a pedestrian accident. Even if you think you have nowhere to turn for help, an experienced personal injury attorney may be able to assist you with a civil claim, and you have every right to hold a negligent driver accountable.