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Top 10 Safety Tips for Pedestrians | Ivey Barnum & O'Mara, LLC

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According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA) there were at least 6,000 pedestrian fatalities in 2017, all of which were directly caused by motor vehicle drivers. Add in pedestrian deaths caused by other road hazards, and the total rises to nearly 7,500.As the GHSA notes, these staggering numbers aren’t just a tragic testament to the individual lives lost: They also represent an alarming25-year high in pedestrian fatalities across the country.

With increased distractions from smartphones, higher rates of marijuana and alcohol intoxication, and additional threats posed by electric micro-vehicles like Bird and Lime scooters, pedestrians face more dangers on the road than ever before. At Ivey, Barnum & O'Mara, LLC, our accident lawyers can help you seek compensation if you were severely injured asa pedestrian, or if your loved one was wrongfully killed due to the actions of a negligent driver.

To help you prevent a tragic accident, we’ve compiled 10 of the best safety tips for walking:

  1. Look both ways. The old nursery-school adage that you should “look both ways”still applies, whether you’re 9 or 99. Check and double-check for any oncoming traffic before you cross the street, even at marked crosswalks.
  2. Avoid headphones. It may be fun to walk down the street with your music blasting, but many accidents have been caused precisely because a pedestrian failed to hear a motor vehicle. Keep the headphones at home!
  3. Walk in groups whenever possible. It’s much easier to spot a flock of pedestrians than an individual person, no matter how you may distinguish yourself from the crowd. Travel in groups and make sure everyone stays together.
  4. Do not text and walk. Although it’s difficult to calculate the total deaths caused by smartphone usage, experts agree that car and pedestrian accidents have largely increased because of smartphone usage. Some towns have even banned the practice of “texting and walking” altogether! Avoid the urge to text back, and wait until you’re in a safe place.
  5. Do not use alcohol or marijuana. The same GHSA report that reported 6,000 pedestrian fatalities in 2017also reported that marijuana usage was a key contributor. Although recreational pot is still illegal in New York, it’s still important to avoid any taking any impairing substances before taking a walk.
  6. Make eye contact with drivers. Whether you’re in the sleepy suburbs or the middle of downtown NYC,you need to keep your eyes open and make eye contact with the drivers.It may be uncomfortable, but it will make it easier for others to spot you.
  7. Don’t expect cars to stop for you. Many pedestrians make the mistake of thinking that a car will always cede the right of way. Of course, cars may not always see you - and if it’s a negligent driver behind the wheel, they may not care about protecting your safety.
  8. Wear something bright or reflective. You don’t have to go out and purchase a fully reflective bodysuit,but try to bring something bright and clearly visible with you every time you walk. This is especially important at night, or in areas with low visibility.
  9. Use sidewalks. Sidewalks were built for pedestrians, so it’s important to use them!Because you never know when a car will appear, staying to the curb is your best chance to avoid getting hit.
  10. Watch for cars backing up. No matter if you’re in a grocery store parking lot or out for a morning run, it’s important to check for signs that a car is backing up.If the driver does not see you, get out of the way as quickly as you can.

Contact an Experienced Attorney

When you’ve been involved in a pedestrian knock-down accident, you don’t have to deal with your injuries alone. Our experienced lawyers in Greenwich, White Plains, and Stamford can help you fight for the recovery you deserve after your accident. Combining years of legal experience with deep compassion for your case,we’ll stand by your side and demand accountability from the at-fault driver.

Ready to speak with our team at Ivey, Barnum & O'Mara, LLC? Call203-661-6000 today.

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