As our Joplin personal injury lawyers know, collisions involving motor vehicles and pedestrians can have devastating consequences. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 4,280 pedestrians were killed and an estimated 70,000 more were injured in 2010 traffic accidents throughout the United States. In this post, we share some safety tips for Missouri pedestrians and drivers alike. To ensure we all arrive safely at our destinations, it's essential that we work together to share the road.
Traveling by foot: Safety tips for Missouri pedestrians
• When waiting to cross the street, be sure you keep a safe distance from the roadway.
• Always look both ways before you cross. This advice might seem like basic common sense, but it's a simple step that pedestrians often overlook - and it just might save your life.
• Only cross the street at intersections, and use marked crosswalks whenever possible. Doing so makes it much easier for drivers to see you.
• Never "jaywalk" or dart into traffic unexpectedly. Objects along the roadway - other vehicles, trees, hedges, etc. - can obscure a driver's vision.
• Don't assume that a driver sees you. Even if you have the right of way in a crosswalk, you should proceed across the street with caution, just in case.
• Make yourself visible. Wear brightly colored clothing and use reflectors or a flashlight if you must commute by foot after dark.
• Use sidewalks when possible - if there is no sidewalk, it's generally safer to walk facing traffic.
• It can be extremely dangerous to cross multi-lane roads, where traffic tends to be thicker and speed limits tend to be higher. Take extra precautions if you must cross the street in these conditions.
• Review pedestrian safety tips with children, especially if they regularly cross the street on their own. The website safekids.org offers several useful resources for parents of young pedestrians.
Sharing the road: Safety tips for Missouri drivers
• Expect to see pedestrians anywhere and at any time.
• It can be more difficult to see pedestrians in certain conditions, and at certain times of day. If you're driving with limited visibility, it's paramount that you reduce your speed and keep your eyes open for pedestrians.
• Reduce your speed and be alert in areas where there is concentrated pedestrian traffic, like areas near schools.
• Drivers often fail to yield to pedestrians as they pull into crosswalks when turning off another street. Be especially cautious and alert when turning into a crosswalk.
• If another vehicle has stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross the street, don't attempt to pass or overtake that vehicle. Be patient, and wait until the roadway is clear to proceed.