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What are some causes of pedestrian injuries and fatalities?

You enjoy taking walks and even having a morning run, but you're worried about the risks of being on or near the roads. You know that anytime you're around vehicles, there's a higher risk of being involved in a crash.

There are dozens of factors that play a role in pedestrian injuries and fatalities, but there are several that you can address to make yourself safer. For example, jaywalking puts pedestrians at a higher risk than if they're walking in a crosswalk or on a sidewalk, so staying in a crosswalk could prevent an accident. Drinking alcohol can also impair a pedestrian's ability to make good decisions about when and where to cross a street, so only walking when you're sober will help you avoid trouble.

Some other factors have to be addressed by drivers. For instance, drivers using cellphones or texting may not perceive the risk ahead. They may not slow down for a crosswalk or look as carefully for people crossing where there is no crosswalk. The volume of traffic also plays a role in accidents, since heavy traffic creates more opportunities for crashes.

The physical environment poses a threat as well. When there is a lack of crossing devices or new crossing devices, drivers may not slow for pedestrians or be aware of a crossing. Not having sidewalks forces pedestrians into roadways or unsafe areas, which also poses a threat to their safety. Poorly timed signals can also create a dangerous situation where pedestrians have little time to cross before vehicles start heading their way.

If you are struck by a driver who isn't paying attention or because of poorly designed crosswalks or roadways, you do have the right to pursue a claim. Your attorney can help you decide on the best way to move forward.

Source: PopCenter, "Pedestrian Injuries and Fatalities," Justin A. Heinonen and John E. Eck, accessed Aug. 11, 2017

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