Jim Adler | The Tough, Smart Lawyer
By Jim Adler June 24, 2015

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration declares Texas to be the 10th most dangerous state for pedestrian fatalities. In 2012, 4,743 pedestrians were killed and 76,000 pedestrians were injured in traffic crashes in America. Jim Adler & Associates offers these tips to avoid pedestrian accidents and save your own life or those of others.

Safety Tips for Pedestrians

Pedestrians can remain safe while sharing the road with motorists and cyclists by observing the following safety tips:

  • Cross roads or parking lots at designated crosswalks
  • Walk on sidewalks if possible and avoid walking on the street
  • If walking on the street, walk on the left side facing traffic and try to make eye contact drivers
  • If walking on the street at night, wear reflective clothing and carry a flashlight
  • Be alert for vehicles even when walking on a shoulder or sidewalk. Many pedestrians are struck by vehicles going off of a roadway

Pedestrian Safety Tips for Drivers

Drivers also play a pivotal role in ensuring the safety of pedestrians. Tips for drivers include:

  • Always stop for pedestrians, even if you have the right of way
  • Slow down when approaching crosswalks and intersections where pedestrians might cross
  • Before and while turning, ensure that no pedestrians are in your path
  • Be extra attentive around schools and densely populated areas
  • Always be careful when backing up, so as not to hit a pedestrian crossing behind you
  • When backing out of private home driveways, ensure that no children are playing nearby; many children are seriously injured or killed in low-speed accidents such as these

Texas Pedestrian Accident Statistics

Texas pedestrian accident statistics show that the state had 478 pedestrian fatalities in 2012, second to California’s 612. Factored proportionately, it meant Texas had 1.8 pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 people, the 10th worst rate in the nation, according to the NHTSA.

Delaware ranked first — or worst — for the rate of pedestrian fatalities, with almost three pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 persons. The national average by state was 1.5.

Though some accident fatality rates are decreasing, pedestrian fatalities increased in seven of the 10 most dangerous states from 2010 to 2012. Overall, pedestrian fatalities increased by 9.4% across America in those years.

In Texas, pedestrians were in even more danger. Pedestrian accident fatalities increased 33% from 2010 to 2012, significantly larger than the national increase of 9.4%.

In 2012, Texas’ 3,398 traffic fatalities were the highest in the nation and Texas’ 478 pedestrian fatalities represented 14% of all traffic deaths in the state.

As the second most populous state after California, Texas has become more densely populated, a factor which can contribute to pedestrian accidents. The NHTSA says 73% of pedestrian fatalities happen in urban areas.

Pedestrians Most At Risk

The pedestrians who are most at risk include persons 65 and older, who account for one fifth of fatalities nationwide, in part because they move more slowly across roadways.

Children, who are smaller and harder to see and can run across streets without warning, are also at higher risk for pedestrian accidents. Of the children killed in all forms of traffic crashes in 2012, over 20% were pedestrians.

Alcohol-influenced drivers or pedestrians also are a major factor, accounting for just under half of all pedestrian fatalities in accidents.

Pedestrian Accident Blame

Determining blame in a pedestrian accident depends on the individual case. Though drivers are at fault in an estimated 50% of cases, pedestrians also can be at fault or at least partly responsible. To recover financially after an accident, the victim’s family must be able to assign at least partial blame to a driver or drivers. Drivers often are at fault due to speeding, alcohol or inattentiveness.

Blame for pedestrian injuries also can be assigned to owners of property whose surfaces are unsafe for walking. Many pedestrians are injured in parking lots with uneven pavement, holes in the surface and other impediments to walking. Pedestrians who trip and fall then may be hit by vehicles.

Making An Insurance Claim

A pedestrian can make an insurance claim after an accident against the driver’s insurer provided the driver was at least partly at fault. A pedestrian’s own auto or health insurance may be applied and, if the pedestrian was working at the time of the crash, a workers compensation claim may be made.

If an at-fault driver was uninsured, a pedestrian making an insurance claim will need uninsured motorist (UIM) coverage with his or her own insurer to make a claim. Jim Adler & Associates strongly advises that people get UIM coverage with their insurance policy.

If the pedestrian as well as the at-fault driver was uninsured, the pedestrian has few if any options for claiming compensation. One would be to file a lawsuit against the driver to try to claim his or her assets. The success of such a lawsuit depends in large part on the driver’s level of assets. Many drivers who lack insurance also lack substantial assets.

In any case, blame is a key. A pedestrian may be partly responsible for a crash, which in legal terms is called contributory negligence. If that’s the case, damages can be assessed based on an evaluation of the degrees to which the pedestrian and the driver were both to blame.

This can happen, for instance, when a pedestrian crosses illegally in the middle of the street — also known as jaywalking — and is struck by a driver who was texting at the wheel and failed to notice the person walking into the car’s path. In this case, both the driver and the pedestrian are partly at fault for the accident.

Since pedestrians are so vulnerable, many pedestrians are killed in crashes, and injuries can be debilitating if not catastrophic. Personal injury claims then are vital.

Get a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

Victims can receive a free case review from an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer by contacting Jim Adler & Associates. We can provide an experienced attorney to pursue compensation by means of a lawsuit or settlement with an insurer.

Contact us today for your free case review.

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