Pedestrian and Bicycle Injuries

Don’t become a Statistic

People crossing the street

We have all seen the following two (2) scenarios:

1.) We have stopped at a crosswalk to let a pedestrian or a bike rider pass. We are far away from the crosswalk, we have made eye contact with the rider or walker, the rider or walker is now safely crossing the crosswalk, and another car on either side of us speeds through the crosswalk area nearly missing the walker or biker. Our heart stops for a moment, everyone looks around in disbelief and by the time we get to our cell phone to call 911 on the irresponsible driver who sped through the intersection, they are long gone. It was a near miss; this time.

2.) We are walking slowly down the sidewalk and paying attention to the roadways and looking for a crosswalk that has a clear path to the other side. There are other people walking beside us when someone decides to make a run for it to the other side and jumps out in front of traffic as a car comes to sudden stop to avoid the pedestrian or biker. We think to ourselves, what was that person thinking? They are no match for a moving vehicle. Another near miss; this time.

One of these times it won’t be a near miss. Each year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports injuries and fatalities from pedestrian and bicycle incidents on our roadways. The NHTSA states that Everyone is a Pedestrian yet, unfortunately, in 2011 the death toll of pedestrians in traffic incidences was up to 4,432 and an estimated 69,000 people were injured in traffic incidences in the U.S. which means that on the average a pedestrian was killed every two (2) hours and a pedestrian was injured every eight (8) minutes in traffic incidences. The NHTSA further reports how these incidences have increased and decreased over the past several years.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a Pedestrian or Bicycle Incident, then our Injury Attorneys are here to help and you may contact us for your free consultation by any or all of the following means by phone at 770-865-8654 and 813-363-6664, by email at juliericelaw@outlook.com, or Contact Us on our website.

The NHTSA has very important safety tips for pedestrians for both when you are walking and when you are driving, and these rules can also be applied when you are biking as well, such as:

1.) When you are Walking:

a.) Follow the rules of the road and obey signs and signals so that you are predictable to drivers and others around you.

b.) Walk or Bike on sidewalks where sidewalks are available or on bike or walking trails, do not walk or bike on the roadways whenever possible.

c.) If you do have to walk or bike on the roadway, walk or bike as far away from the traffic as possible, and walk or bike facing traffic.

d.) Be alert at all time and know your surroundings. Do not be distracted by devices that keep your eyes and ears off the road. Do not use alcohol or drugs when walking and especially not when biking. These will impair your ability just as they do when you drive.

e.) Use crosswalks and intersections to cross the street.

f.) Look for cars in all directions.

g.) If a crosswalk is not available, then choose a place where you can see traffic in all directions and do not cross until you know you can cross safely.

h.) Do not assume that a driver can see you. If you see a driver, then try and make eye contact with that driver so that you know that you are seen and then cross.

i.) Wear bright clothing during the day and reflective clothing at night so that you are visible at all times.

j.) Be especially careful and watch for cars that may be turning or backing out of driveways.

These rules can be followed by children, adults, and the elderly.

2.) When you are Driving:

a.) Watch out and look for pedestrians and bicycles at all time and everywhere. This is a shared responsibility between drivers, pedestrians and bicyclers.

b.) Use extra caution in bad weather and hard to see conditions. Remember that pedestrians and bicyclers can be everywhere and can be traveling under many different conditions.

c.) If you see a crosswalk, then slow down, take notice and watch for pedestrians and bicyclers.

d.) If you see a pedestrian or a bicycler, then yield to them and let them cross. Stop as far away from the crosswalk as possible so that other vehicles also have the opportunity to see the pedestrian or bicycler.

e.) If you see vehicles stopped at a crosswalk, then do not try and pass them. There could be pedestrians and bicyclers that you don’t see.

f.) Just as it is against the law, never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

g.) Follow the traffic signs, rules of the road, and especially the speed limit.

h.) If you are in a school zone or a neighborhood where children might be present, then slow down and drive at a slower speed. Remember that children can be present even if school is not in session and even at nighttime hours.

i.) When backing up, then be extra cautious as a pedestrian or bicycler could be in your path.

j.) Do not text and drive. This is now the law in many States and it makes common sense. Texting and driving is a major distraction that kills drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclers. As the saying goes One Click could End It.

I knew of a young girl who was sun bathing in her driveway and her father did not know she was in the driveway and backed his car out of the driveway running her over; and paralyzing her for life. This was a tragic situation. We all need to take extra caution everywhere to protect each other on the roadways even on private property.

Two (2) other great resources on safe driving can be found at:

1.) http://www.safercar.gov

2.) http://www.distraction.gov

We all need to follow the rules of the road and use best practices when driving, walking, or biking to insure the safety of ourselves and others. As stated above, this is a shared responsibility. It would be great to see the statistics go down in years ahead as we educate ourselves and follow the safest rules of the road.

We at Julie A. Rice, Attorney at Law & Affiliates are firm believers in safety at all times and we want our highways, freeways, cities, and streets safe for everyone. Contact Us and visit our Resources Page to learn more.

Bike Safety Know-It-All? Maybe Not

NACTO - National Association of City Transportation Officials