As children, we are always taught to check both sides of the road before crossing, but sometimes that simply doesn’t matter. Car drivers have a duty of care towards those on the road, whether they be in another vehicle or on foot. But the sad fact of the world is that there are many drivers who simply do not take this responsibility seriously. Knowing when and where you may be most at risk can help you keep yourself safe.
Are Intersections Actually Dangerous?
When two or more roads cross, it becomes an intersection. These areas can be incredibly dangerous, as the traffic volume can be incredibly high, with dozens of drivers either speeding forward or impatiently waiting for their turn. Intersection accidents between vehicles are incredibly common; however, it is surprisingly not the most dangerous place for pedestrians. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a majority of pedestrian accidents do not happen at intersections.
This may be because of a number of factors. Intersections often have stop signs and traffic lights that drivers have been trained to respect and keep an eye out for. Thus, drivers may naturally slow down when they come up to an intersection. Drivers may also be expecting to see some pedestrians at an intersection, particularly if there is a crosswalk, and so may be paying closer attention. Either way, intersections may actually be safer than you expect. However, you should still check both sides before crossing and respect any signs or lights that tell you when you are legally allowed to cross.
How Safe Are Crosswalks?
Crosswalks are actually one of the safer areas of the road for a pedestrian to be on, whether they are located at an intersection or not. Most drivers were taught or have learned to expect to see pedestrians at a crosswalk, and so may naturally slow down slightly in order to be safe. On top of that, crosswalks often come with traffic lights that tell the driver to stop and yield. Some crosswalks even have lights that the pedestrians can activate themselves, allowing them to make it abundantly clear to drivers that they are about to enter the road.
On top of the light, most crosswalks are clearly marked with lines across the road and “Pedestrian Crossing” signs. These markings and signs help indicate to the driver that they must proceed with caution; otherwise, they risk hitting a pedestrian. Crosswalks also allow for pedestrians to make safer choices as well. Many people will cross the road when it is most convenient, but if there is a crosswalk nearby, they can do so in an area that drivers will know to keep a close eye on.
Along the Side of the Road
The side of the road has proven to be one of the most dangerous areas for pedestrians to occupy. Drivers may not be paying close enough attention to the edges of the road, and so may completely miss that a pedestrian is there. One mistake or turn could easily result in a collision. On top of that, there are no signs or markers to indicate to the drivers that they must be careful, unlike with a crosswalk or intersection. So, drivers are more likely to be going at a faster speed, making a pedestrian accident along the side of the road all the more devastating.
Never Forget Time of Day
This one may not come as a surprise, but a majority of pedestrian accidents happen either at night or when the sun is setting or rising. During these periods of time, drivers have a harder time seeing smaller objects, especially if they are speeding. Thus, they may not be able to come to a complete stop by the time they see you. This is especially true if you are walking along the side of the road, as an intersection or crosswalk is likely to have lights. If you are walking at night or dusk, then you should consider wearing reflective clothing or keeping off of the road as much as possible. On top of that, using a flashlight or the light on your phone would also help increase your visibility for any nearby drivers.
Even keeping all of this in mind and following all traffic laws and regulations, there is no guarantee that you will be safe when you cross the road. Drivers can be impatient and negligent, putting their own selfish interests over the safety of others. If you have been injured in a collision with a vehicle, then you should be properly compensated. Your best option after an accident is to get the legal aid of an experienced Boulder car accident attorney who can ensure that you receive proper compensation for your injuries. Insurance companies are rarely charitable and may try to argue that you are partially at fault for your injuries.
But at the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, we understand just how devastating these accidents can be and believe that pedestrians deserve full and fair compensation when they are injured by negligent drivers. To discuss your claim in a free consultation, call our firm at (970) 212-4777 today.