According to studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,, 14% of all fatal motor vehicle crashes involved pedestrians. In large cities, pedestrians account for between 40 to 50% of all traffic fatalities. A local two-year research study by the City of Ann Arbor concerning driver/pedestrian behavior on city streets showed that increased police enforcement and making crosswalks more noticeable lead to an increase in pedestrian safety.

However, with the increasing use of cell phones causing distractions, the safety of pedestrians will continue to be an ongoing challenge for safety engineers and law enforcement agencies attempting to reduce pedestrian accident and injuries.

The legalization of marijuana use may also contribute to an increase in impaired driving causing serious accidents involving pedestrians.

Safety experts make the following recommendations to increase pedestrian safety and prevent accidents:

Be Prepared Before Walking

Reflective gear at night.
Use lights at night or when visibility is poor.
Plan your safest route – safer routes have less traffic, slower speeds, lighting, sidewalks and, If possible, separate you from traffic.

Follow the Rules to Increase Your Safety

Walk on sidewalks, if they’re there. If not, walk as far to the left, facing traffic.
Look left-right-left and behind for traffic before crossing a driveway or road.
Cross in marked crosswalks, at corners, or at intersections.
Obey pedestrian crossing signals.

While crossing, look left and right for traffic; be prepared to get out of the way if a driver doesn’t seem to see you.

Look for Traffic Around You

Look for cars backing up; look for white backup lights or signs the motor is running.
Expect others not to see you. Some drivers may be distracted. Do not step into the roadway until the driver has stopped for you or has acknowledged your intent to cross with eye contact, a wave or a nod.

Walk Defensively

Walk focused and alert. No texting, listening to music or anything that takes your eyes, ears, or your mind off the road and traffic.
Anticipate what other road users might do – turns, pulling out of a parking space or driveway, backing up. The sooner you notice a potential conflict, the quicker you can act to avoid it.
Give drivers extra time to slow or stop, especially in poor weather (ice, snow, rain), and low visibility (dusk, dawn, fog, or night). Just because you can see others, does not mean they can see you.

Be Smart

Prevention is the name of the game; there are things you can do to decrease your risk of being a crash victim.
Understanding the causes of crashes helps you adjust your walking and driving behaviors to avoid a crash in the first place.

If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, our Personal Injury Law Firm can help. Serving clients throughout Michigan for over 45 years, our Ann Arbor Personal Injury Law Firm is committed to helping the injured recover full and fair compensation for their economic losses, pain, and suffering. Attorneys at our firm, Logeman, Iafrate & Logeman, P.C., have the skill, the experience, and the resources to present compelling arguments to insurance adjusters, arbitrators, and juries on behalf of our clients. Our practice areas include car accident cases, truck accidents, brain injury, motorcycle accidents, uninsured/underinsured motorist claims and more! Call us today to speak with an experienced attorney.