How pedestrians can avoid being hit by distracted drivers

At some point, everyone is a pedestrian. Whether you arrive at your destination via foot, car, train, plane, boat or bicycle, you will eventually be walking to your final destination. It is also at that point that you are most vulnerable to being struck by a vehicle.

According to statistics compiled by the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission between 2010 and 2014, 2,579 pedestrians were hit by automobiles in central Ohio during those years alone. Out of those, 86 of those struck lost their lives.

Pedestrians have the right of way at every crosswalk, whether it is marked or not. In cases in which there is a walk signal, once illuminated, a driver is required to yield and allow a pedestrian to safely cross to the other side of the street.

Even though that is the case, a large number of pedestrians are struck by distracted drivers. In investigating such incidences, these vehicle operators often claim they did not notice a person crossing the street.

With this in mind, pedestrians owe it to themselves to use caution when crossing. In attempting to do so, pedestrians should only cross at the intersection or mid-block crosswalk. They should only cross when the walk signal is on, avoid crossing once it begins flashing, or quickly proceed if already in it.

Just like drivers, pedestrians should make sure that they are not distracted by their phones or handheld devices. They also should not assume that a driver sees them.

Instead, they should wait until the driver slows and comes to a full stop before entering the crosswalk. If there is no sidewalk, pedestrians should walk in the direction of the traffic. They should also take caution to wear reflective clothes and to use flashlights if walking at night.

If you or someone you love has been severely injured or lost his or her life as a result of being struck by a car, an attorney can provide advice and guidance in your legal matter.

Source: Mid Ohio Regional Planning Commission, "Pedestrian safety," accessed Feb. 17, 2017

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