Grimes & Fertitta, P.C.

Pedestrians and drivers have a responsibility to act safely

Crossing the street shouldn't be inherently dangerous. Unfortunately for many pedestrians, the reality is that drivers aren't looking for them. In today's society, the number of people who walk from place to place is relatively small compared to those willing to hop into their vehicle and drive where they want to go. As a result, it isn't surprising that drivers aren't always looking for pedestrians.

As a pedestrian, you share responsibility in making sure no accidents happen. You are still required to look both ways, to wait for a WALK signal at any crosswalk that has one and to use a crosswalk when you can.

What can drivers do to be safer toward pedestrians?

Drivers have a great responsibility to pedestrians. They are supposed to look at what's happening around them. They are supposed to stop before entering crosswalks and wait until pedestrians exit crosswalks before they continue.

If you are driving, make sure you're slowing down when approaching intersections, even if you have a green light. This is a good habit to get into to avoid crashes with pedestrians, cyclists and those who might drive through a red light.

What can pedestrians do to be safer for drivers?

One of the things you can do as a pedestrian is to walk in a group when possible. Groups are easier for drivers to see, so they're less likely to be involved in collisions.

Another thing to do is to make sure you cross at designated areas when they're present. Try not to walk out from behind parked cars or other areas where it would be hard to see you.

You can also wear bright colors, enter and exit crosswalks quickly, and make sure you give yourself enough time to cross if you're crossing when you see oncoming traffic in the distance.

At the end of the day, it's the responsibility of drivers and pedestrians to make sure they don't become involved in an accident. If both parties are cautious, then it is easier to avoid crashes.

What should you do if a crash does occur?

A crash with a motor vehicle is serious. If a pedestrian is hurt (or you are hurt), stay where you are unless it's unsafe to do so. Emergency services should be called to the scene immediately, and everyone should stay at the scene until they release you. Pedestrians who are hit should always go to the hospital for a medical exam.

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