There are about 190 pedestrians hit by cars in the U.S., every day; from these, at least 12 are fatal or end in death some days following the accident. The National Safety Council says that majority of non-fatal accidents involving pedestrians take place in urban areas where there is always a high volume of cars and pedestrians. With concern to fatal accidents, however, the council states that these are more frequent in rural areas, where vehicles run at greater speed due to much lighter traffic. NSC further explains that the absence of shoulders (as pedestrian facilities), sidewalks, paths and street lights (for better visibility at nighttime) are major factors that increase the risk of pedestrian accidents. Pedestrian safety ought to be everyone’s concern because being a pedestrian is one thing all people in the U.S. have in common. Other than walking, the meaning of pedestrian also applies to joggers or to anyone who is on foot and on the street, sidewalk, or walk path, and so forth.
The concerted efforts of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and car manufacturers have led to the research, design, manufacture and installation of the latest devices that will make the streets safer for all pedestrians. These devices, aptly called accident avoidance technologies, are designed to keep drivers from crashing into anything or anyone, especially pedestrians. The Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection with Full Auto Brake and the Forward Collision Warning System are just two of the latest accident avoidance devices that certain car manufacturers will start installing in their cars, making these regular features of their cars that go out into the market. While these devices may enable the full activation of a car’s brakes even without driver input, there are other devices that are designed to simply slow down the vehicle to reduce the force of impact, thus leaving still to the driver the need to bring the vehicle to a full stop. A car accident is, more often than not, due to the negligent or reckless behavior of an individual, making it a totally preventable incident. If one occurs, though, then the victim should think about seeking help from a highly qualified personal injury lawyer, who can help him/her understand his/her legal options and the chance of seeking compensation which the law allows him/her to receive. During the recent years, however, motor vehicles are no longer the only threats to pedestrian safety; motorcycles and bicycles are now threats too. This is partly due to the dramatic increase in the number of bicyclists in many U.S. states and cities.
Worse, however, is the behavior of some bicyclists who, like many drivers, ignore traffic laws, signs, crosswalks and signals. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), there is not much data on bicyclist/pedestrian accidents except was gathered in one study (which used hospital coding data) which says that, every year, there are about 1,000 pedestrians who are hit by a cyclist and necessitate medical treatment in a hospital. Despite the much higher number of fatalities and injuries resulting from pedestrian and motor vehicle accidents, guarding against reckless and careless bicyclists, especially in parks and jogging/cycling lanes, where most of these types of accidents occur, is important. And though younger individuals usually do not suffer major harm when struck by a bicycle, it may be necessary to report or file a legal action against reckless bikers if only to make them realize that they are not the only ones using the pedestrian lanes who need to be safe.