Pedestrian safety is not solely the responsibility of pedestrians; every driver carries just as much responsibility as any pedestrian. While there are certain actions that pedestrians can take to become a better pedestrian, there are numerous tips and guidelines drivers can follow to protect pedestrians. Pedestrians involved in a car crash are at extreme risk of injury and even death, which in some circumstances a driver can be held accountable for. It is always important to practice defensive driving, but it is imperative to practice defensive driving in the presence of pedestrians, especially in urban areas. More than 6,000 pedestrians were killed in 2019, accounting for about 17 percent of all crash-related fatalities that year.
Driver Tips for Pedestrian Safety
- Assume Responsibility – It is your responsibility as a driver to be conscious of the safety of pedestrians. Simply acknowledging that pedestrians are out there will go a long way towards ensuring a safe drive for you and a safe trip for them.
- Identify Pedestrians – Make a mental note when you see a pedestrian. Knowing there are pedestrians in the immediate area can help you react to unexpected situations.
- Avoid Distracted Driving – It is difficult to identify pedestrians if you are not watching the road. Distracted driving is extremely dangerous for both drivers and pedestrians. Do not text and drive.
- Avoid Drunk Driving – Driving under the influence is against the law and carries stiff penalties. Drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs who injure a pedestrian can face jail time. Impaired drivers who seriously injure a pedestrian could face stiffer penalties. Impaired drivers who kill a pedestrian could face vehicular manslaughter charges.
- Look Both Ways Before Turning – If you are turning right, you may be focused only on traffic approaching from your left. You should also focus on potential pedestrians approaching from your right. Ensure there are no pedestrians in any direction before beginning your turn.
- Look Behind You – Be sure to check your rearview mirror, side mirrors, and backup camera when reversing, especially in parking lots or driveways.
- Obey Speed Limits – Speeding reduces reaction time.
- Obey Traffic Signals – In addition to not crashing into other vehicles, obeying red lights and stop signs will prevent drivers from crashing into pedestrians too. Traffic signals often have crosswalks as well.
- Obey Crosswalk Rules – Pedestrians always have the right-of-way in crosswalks, marked or unmarked. Drivers should stop before the crosswalk, stop light, stop sign, or marked stop line.
- Do Not Pass Stopped School Buses – If a bus has its stop sign arm extended, drivers in both directions are legally required to stop except in certain circumstances. See our previously published guide on stopping for school buses.
- Never Assume – We all know the saying, but drivers should never assume that any pedestrian will behave in a predictable manner.
The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth helps the victims of car accidents, including pedestrians, pursue legal action against at-fault drivers. We help injured pedestrians seek compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages. Our accident attorneys are ready to help you recover physically and financially. We offer 100% free consultations, so call us now at 888-517-9888.