Great coverage by Global News of two recent pedestrian accidents that resulted in severe injuries. Both occurred while the pedestrian was in the cross walk. This time of year is especially dangerous for pedestrians and even when you are following all the rules, crossing in cross walks, obtaining eye contact and paying attention, accidents can still happen. The Department of Public and Environmental Safety at Tufts University provides the following pedestrian safety tips:
- Cross streets at a corner, using traffic signals where available and crosswalks;
- Always look left, right and left again before crossing a street, and keep watching as you cross. Be aware that drivers have differing levels of eyesight and skill in operating motor vehicles;
- Pedestrians should be especially careful at intersections, where drivers may fail to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians while turning onto another street.
- Make sure that you are seen by:
- Make eye contact with drivers when crossing busy streets;
- Wear bright colors or reflective clothing if you are walking near traffic at night;
- Carry a flashlight when walking in the dark;
- Walk on the sidewalk whenever possible. If sidewalks are not available, walk facing traffic on the edge of the road, as far from the travel lane as possible.
- Walk defensively and be ready for unexpected events. Know what’s going on around you and don’t allow your vision to be blocked by clothing, hats, or items that you are carrying.
- Watch the pedestrian signals, not the traffic signal, and follow the “WALK/DON”T WALK” lights (they’re set up to help you cross safely). Look for pedestrian push buttons for crossing protection at signalized intersections.
- Watch out for parked vehicles. Parking lots can be as dangerous as streets.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs as they impair your ability to walk safely.
- When crossing, use all your senses and don’t use your cell phone for calls and texting.
- use particular caution when crossing driveways and alley entrances. Drivers may not expect you to be there or see you.
- Adults should supervise children when crossing streets. Smaller children may be difficult for drivers to see and young children may not be able to judge whether it is safe to cross a street.
If you have been injured as a pedestrian, make sure that you contact a lawyer experienced in dealing with ICBC claims. As an injured pedestrian involved in an accident with a car you have the same rights to compensation as anyone else in a motor vehicle accident. An experienced ICBC lawyer will be able to explain fully your rights and ensure that you are fully compensated.