No matter where you live or your typical form of transportation, we are all pedestrians. When you get out of your car to walk through the parking lot to go into Target, you are a pedestrian. When you walk your dog through your neighborhood, you are a pedestrian. Your children or grandchildren are pedestrians when they get off the school bus. As such, pedestrian safety should be important to all of us, which is why the federal government has designated October as National Pedestrian Safety Month. Here are some important facts and safety tips you should know. Also, if you are the victim of a pedestrian accident, we have one piece of information that could mean the difference between you receiving compensation or not.
Last year, roughly 6,500 pedestrians were killed in car accidents. That is the highest number in 30 years. In addition to fatalities, approximately 66,000 pedestrians were injured in vehicle accidents. Obviously, we need to do better, so here are a few reminders of how to avoid pedestrian accidents:
- Slow down especially in pedestrian areas such as cross-walks, school zones, etc. It really is simple; the faster you are going the less reaction time you have.
- Put down your phone. Many experts believe distracted driving is a big factor in the increasing number of pedestrian accidents.
- If the car in front of you stops, be careful passing as the driver may be stopping to allow a pedestrian to cross.
- Do not drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Consider the weather as you drive. If it is raining or snowing, stopping distances will be longer. If it is dark, your sight distance will be less.
Now, here is the incredibly important legal tip: if you have been hit as a pedestrian by a driver with no insurance or very little insurance, you might be able to recover from your own car insurance policy even though you were not driving a car at the time of the accident. Most uninsured or underinsured insurance policies (UM/UIM) will pay for injuries caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver (regardless of whether you are in your vehicle or a pedestrian). In Tennessee, 20% of the drivers have zero insurance. Think about that: statistically, every 5th car you meet does not have insurance. (By the way, Tennessee is 5th in the nation for uninsured drivers.) Because so many drivers are uninsured in our State and because a large number of drivers in our State are carrying minimum limits, it is critical for you and your family to be protected by a UM/UIM policy. Not only will it protect you and your family members in a car accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, but it will also protect you and your family members if you are hit as a pedestrian by one of those drivers.
At the Law Offices of John Day, our award-winning attorneys have handled too many pedestrian accident cases. Some of those cases have involved death and others have involved horrible injuries. As drivers, we must do better. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a pedestrian accident, give us a call for a free consultation to discuss your legal rights and options. If we think we can help and you decide to hire us, we handle all pedestrian accident cases on a contingency basis so we only get paid if we recover money for you and your family. Call us anytime at one of the numbers below:
Photo by Joe Mannarino on Unsplash