Pedestrians are obviously very vulnerable when walking near or on roadways. They share the roadways with motor vehicles, from small cars to large trucks, and have absolutely no protection in the event of an accident. Even a minor collision with a moving vehicle can cause catastrophic injuries to a pedestrian. Over the years, pedestrian safety has been a huge cause of concern for authorities across the country. Despite all efforts pedestrian injuries and fatalities are still increasing.
In 2016, more than 82 pedestrian fatalities were reported in Missouri. This number makes up almost 10 percent of all fatal car accidents that occurred statewide in 2016.
In consideration of the increasing number of pedestrian accidents, the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDoT) has released a number of new guidelines that pedestrians should follow to reduce the chance of being hit by a car. Among the most important guidelines issued by MoDoT is that pedestrians should avoid being distracted at all costs.
St. Louis auto accident attorney explains that both drivers and pedestrians are texting and speaking on cell phones while travelling on roads. Texting not only takes your eyes off the sidewalk in front of you, but also engages you mentally. This greatly increases your chances of inadvertently walking into the roadway and getting hit by a motor vehicle. Similarly, when you’re wearing headphones, you are not only mentally distracted but you will be unable to hear any sounds around you, such as those from approaching vehicles.
According to MoDoT, pedestrians often do not obey traffic signals or use designated crosswalks.
If your car breaks down, it’s extremely important that you stay inside your vehicle until help arrives. As long as it is safe to do so, do not get out of your car for any reason until emergency personnel arrives.
Drivers also need to keep in mind a few things in order to avoid accidentally hitting a pedestrian. Drivers should proceed slowly when approaching areas with high pedestrian traffic or crosswalks. They should approach vehicles that are disabled on the shoulder of the road with caution as there might be standing outside–although encouraged NOT to do so–waiting for help to arrive.
With the increasing number of pedestrian fatalities in Missouri, the simple steps, mentioned above, can go a long way to help reduce these numbers in 2017.
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, or someone close to you has died in such an accident, you should consult your St. Louis car wreck lawyer to discuss your legal options. The lawyer will help file a claim for your injuries and other losses.