Looking both ways before crossing the street may not be enough.
Distracted driving gets much of the negative attention when it comes to car accidents, but accidents between drivers and pedestrians are a serious public safety concern. In 2014, 4,884 pedestrians were in fatal accidents with vehicles, an average of 13 per day and an increase from the previous year.
City infrastructure and statistics
Studies show that city infrastructure affects the safety of walking. Cities with long, straight roads that encourage faster traffic are more dangerous. On the other hand, limiting right turns at red lights and installing more sidewalks and refuge islands has positive effects. In Connecticut, pedestrians have the right of way at any intersection whether marked by a crosswalk or not.
A report from Smart Growth America shows that accidents happen more often among specific segments of the population: lower income people, those without health insurance, people of color and the elderly.
When a pedestrian and a vehicle collide there are serious consequences, such as the recent death of an 81 year-old man in Bridgeport. While there are 13 deaths per day, many survive the incidents but suffer lasting emotional and physical scars from the traumatic event.
Drivers of vehicles have safety devices like seat belts and airbags to protect them in case of a collision. A pedestrian is more vulnerable and exposed, which means that drivers should pay extra attention whenever they see somebody on foot.
Victims of an accident may be eligible for compensation to cover medical expenses and emotional pain and suffering. While compensation cannot restore health, it offers peace of mind following a serious incident that leaves body bruised and senses shaken.