Operating a motor vehicle is a serious responsibility. Unfortunately, some drivers choose to speed, talk and text on a cellphone while driving, drink and drive and drive while distracted. In cases where a driver’s negligence results in a pedestrian accident, the resulting injuries are often serious and debilitating in nature.
The Michigan Department of State Police reports that, during 2013, a total of 289,061 motor vehicle accidents were reported throughout the state. These accidents resulted in more than 71,000 injuries and 951 deaths, 2,392 of those injured and 159 of those killed were pedestrians who were hit by a car or truck.
Most people consider walking a safe form of transportation; however, much depends on the time of day, a pedestrian’s location, his or her proximity to motor vehicles and the actions of both pedestrians and drivers. For example, during 2013, 30 percent of pedestrian fatalities involved individuals who failed to cross the street in a crosswalk or at an intersection. Additionally, 11 percent of fatal pedestrian accidents involved individuals under 21 and seven percent involved children under the age of 16 who were hit by a car while riding a bicycle.
To avoid hitting a pedestrian, drivers would be wise to follow traffic laws and to keep distractions to a minimum while driving. Remaining focused and vigilant is especially important when driving through densely populated areas and through school zones. Drivers would also be wise to ensure they stop for pedestrians who are crossing the street in a crosswalk.
To reduce the chances of being hit by a car or truck, pedestrians are advised to always look both ways prior to crossing the street and to only do so at a crosswalk or intersection. Additionally, pedestrians would be wise to ensure they always use sidewalks and that they remain visible by wearing reflective clothing.
Source: Michigan Department of State Police, “2013 Michigan Traffic Crash Facts,” 2013
AAA.com, “Tips for Pedestrian Safety,” 2015