If you live in Austin, Texas, you're well aware that more people than ever before are leaving their car at home and opting for other modes of transportation.
From walking to riding your bike, there are many times when you're considered a pedestrian. While ditching your car can save you money and do good for the environment, it also brings forth a variety of safety-related concerns.
Pedestrian-vehicle accidents happen for many reasons, including the following:
- Distracted driving: When a driver isn't paying attention to the road and their surroundings, they're more likely to strike a pedestrian. For example, if you're crossing the street at a crosswalk and an approaching driver is texting, they could strike you without ever braking.
- Reckless driving: There are many forms of reckless driving, such as speeding, failure to yield to pedestrians at crosswalks and failure to use turn signals.
- Driving under the influence: Drugs and alcohol impact a driver's judgment, making it difficult for them to maintain a high level of safety while behind the wheel.
- Disregard for traffic conditions: When traffic conditions change, such as a sudden slowdown, drivers must adjust accordingly
- Disregard for weather conditions: Inclement weather, such as heavy rain and strong wind, make it difficult to drive safely. Slowing down and maintaining as much visibility as possible is important, as doing so can help prevent an accident.
Although you don't have any control over drivers, you can alter your approach as a pedestrian to improve your safety. Consider doing the following:
- Only cross the street at designated crosswalks
- Wait for the walk signal to tell you it's okay to cross
- Don't dart into traffic
You have a number of rights as a pedestrian, such as the ability to cross the road at crosswalks without the fear of being hit. Unfortunately, even though drivers are required to stop, it doesn't always mean they will.
If you're injured in a car-pedestrian accident, call for help and administer first aid until paramedics arrive and take over. Your immediate goal is to stabilize your injuries. From there, you can lean on your medical team to provide a treatment plan.
Finally, when you're able to do so, contact your insurance company and learn more about the many ways you can obtain compensation from the negligent driver.