Most people are careful when entering an intersection on foot. They look for vehicles coming from different directions before crossing. However, most accidents involving pedestrians occur outside of intersections, so pedestrians must remain cautious whenever they are walking. What do men, women, and children need to know about pedestrian injuries and fatalities today?

Where Pedestrian Accidents Most Often Occur

The majority of pedestrian accidents happen in urban areas. Due to a lack of light, they happen more at night and in non-intersection locations. Metropolitan areas remain of concern to public health experts, as cars and trucks constantly travel the roads, and individuals must remain vigilant at intersections. Some accidents occur even when safety measures have been put into place.

Parking lots are another source of concern for safety experts. As with major metropolitan areas, pedestrians and cars also share this space, which increases the risk of an accident happening. Limited visibility accounts for some of these accidents as do narrow aisles. Distracted driving plays a role in these accidents as well. Today, one pedestrian is injured every 8 minutes in the United States.

Men and women need to take care when walking to ensure they remain safe. How can they do so? Knowing the facts surrounding pedestrian accidents is important in achieving this goal.

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Alcohol and Pedestrian Accidents

Nearly 50 percent of all accidents involving a pedestrian occur as the result of alcohol use. In fact, thirty-three percent of these accidents lead to the death of a pedestrian with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or higher. Another 17 percent involve a driver with this blood alcohol concentration or higher. Sadly, both parties are sometimes intoxicated when accidents occur.

Many times, people attempt to carry open alcohol containers in their motor vehicle and drive drunk which leads to serious accidents. Transporting an open alcohol container is illegal. This charge can worsen the already DUI (drive under influence) situation. If you have ever come across such a situation, talk to professional lawyers who have a thorough understanding of the open container law Michigan.

Risk Factors

In addition to substance use, other factors increase the likelihood of an accident involving a pedestrian. The speed of the vehicle at the time of the accident plays a role in the severity of the injuries. Men and women 65 years of age or older remain more at risk of being involved in a pedestrian accident and accounted for 20 percent of pedestrian deaths in 2017 along with 10 percent of pedestrian injuries. Sadly, 20 percent of childhood deaths resulting from traffic crashes during the same year were pedestrian deaths.

Staying Safe While Walking

Carry a flashlight when walking at night. When possible, wear reflective clothing. If no reflective clothing is available, choose light-colored clothes that don’t blend into the surroundings. Use intersections and crosswalks when they are available, and try to find areas that aren’t as heavily traveled to cross a road if no intersections or crosswalks are nearby.

Use a sidewalk or path when walking as opposed to the road itself. Remain on the shoulder and face traffic if you must use the road. Never walk while wearing electronic devices, and avoid walking when you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Drugs and alcohol impair your coordination and judgment.

Don’t walk side by side if traveling with others. Stay in a single-file line, and keep dogs on a short leash. This ensures they don’t run into traffic or pull you into the path of an oncoming car.

Thousands of individuals lose their lives in pedestrian accidents every year. More than 100,000 Americans sustain injuries in accidents of this type. Pedestrians remain at higher risk of being injured in a traffic crash, as they have nothing to protect them. Use caution when walking to ensure you don’t become a statistic while engaging in an activity people do every day.