Distracted driving accidents get a lot of coverage in the media these days. Likewise, drunk driving gets plenty of attention; it seems as though not a day goes by that a DWI does not make the news. Lawmakers and law enforcement agencies in Texas are cracking down on both. But neither qualifies as the worst type of accident – a pedestrian accident.
Pedestrian accidents are the most devastating for an obvious reason. As a pedestrian, you have no protection: no seat belts, no air bags, no head restraints. You are vulnerable to crippling injuries.
Seawall Blvd, which runs along the water and beach area, often experiences heavy foot traffic. Pedestrians may use crosswalks when walking to Galveston Island State Park or various businesses and restaurants nears 61st Street. The vibrant historical districts around Strand Street and Broadway Street are often bustling with foot traffic. Crosswalks become filled with tourists and employees walking to and from their destinations.
That's why drivers are expected to reduce their speed and be prepared to stop. In the event that a negligent driver caused your pedestrian accident, you should seek the legal advocacy of an experienced personal injury lawyer at Tracey & Fox.
Statistics show a rise in pedestrian accidents
The news is especially bad for Houston-Galveston area residents. According to The State of Safety report for 2017, by the Houston-Galveston Area Council’s Metropolitan Planning Organization, pedestrian accidents continue to rise, climbing from 1,625 in 2012 in 1,983 in 2016. Pedestrian fatalities jumped from 109 to 177, accounting for almost 25 percent of all traffic fatalities, while serious injuries rose from 235 to 312.
The good news is that you can take some common-sense steps to protect yourself as a pedestrian, according to the Federal Highway Administration’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center. This includes:
- Making yourself visible by wearing bright clothing or by using a flashlight at night.
- Crossing the street in well-lit areas.
- Staying sober and attentive.
- Standing clear of buses, hedges, parked cars and other obstacles before crossing the street so drivers can see you.
- Always walking on the sidewalk. When there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic.
- Making eye contact with drivers. Don’t just look at the vehicle because the driver is the one in control. If you see the driver is on a cell phone, for example, he or she may not be paying enough attention to drive safely.
- Not relying solely on pedestrian signals. Always look left, right and left again before crossing a street.
- Being alert to engine noise or backup lights on vehicles in parking lots and near on-street parking spaces.
- Crossing streets at marked crosswalks or intersections whenever possible.
What you can do if you've been injured in a pedestrian accident
No matter how cautious you are as a pedestrian, sometimes circumstances are beyond your control. A motorist could be driving drunk, suddenly distracted by a ringing smartphone or accelerating through an intersection without stopping for a sign or traffic light. One moment you’re innocently walking along a sidewalk or crosswalk. The next, you wake up in the hospital with possibly life-threatening injuries.
You’re facing weeks, months or even a lifetime of physical therapy and medical bills while at the same time being out of work. At worst, you are dealing with the unthinkable trauma of losing a loved one to a reckless motorist. On top of it all, an insurance company is pressuring you to settle your case, offering financial compensation that, no matter how tempting, is far less than you deserve.
Fortunately, you have a legal option. Get an experienced attorney on your side today to fight for the compensation you need and deserve.