avoid pedestrian accidents in the summer

Avoiding a Pedestrian Accident During the Coronavirus Shutdown

Pedestrians in Alabama and elsewhere are at a higher risk of accidents and injuries because they do not have the protections such as airbags, seatbelt, or crumple zones that a car driver has. Moreover, many of the cars and bigger vehicles are built in such a way that a driver may sometimes fail to notice a pedestrian.


During the Covid-19 shutdown, traffic on most of the roads in Alabama has reduced to a trickle as people are largely staying indoors. However, some car drivers as well as pedestrians still need to come out for buying essential goods or visiting a doctor or hospital for a medical emergency. Many others are going out for walks to get out of the house and get some exercise. This exposes pedestrians to the risk of accidents even during this period of relatively low vehicular traffic.


Empty Roads can be Deceptive


Both car drivers and pedestrians should exercise extra caution when the roads are mostly empty. In such situations, it is easy to let down your guard in the belief that there is no risk of causing a car accident or getting injured as a pedestrian. Car drivers will typically tend to drive at higher speeds or indulge in distracted driving when they feel that there is minimal traffic.


Similarly, a pedestrian may get careless or distracted while crossing the road or use their smartphone while walking. Reduced sense of alertness in these situations can exponentially increase the risk of accidents. Therefore, it is prudent to be more careful rather than less careful during the shutdowns in coronavirus affected areas of Alabama.


Safety Tips for Drivers


Drive Slow in Pedestrian Areas


When you slow down your vehicle when you see a pedestrian in your path, you get extra time to react if the pedestrian does something unpredictable. An extra fraction of a second for a car driver can mean the difference between life and death for a pedestrian.


Show Your Patience with Elderly and Infirm


While most seniors and people with underlying medical conditions are mostly staying at home to minimize their risk of Covid-19 exposure, but medical emergencies can force them to come out to visit a local doctor or healthcare center.


They may need extra time for crossing the street or may even have a weak eyesight or hearing and may not see or hear you. Keep distance and show your patience in order to protect them on the road.


Try to Make Eye Contact


You can communicate through your eyes with a pedestrian while driving your car. The pedestrian will want to ensure that you have noticed them before they start crossing the street. Eye contact will help you both to know who is going to take which road and avoid confusion, which could otherwise result in a serious accident.


Do not Drink and Drive


Your reaction time will slow down if you are driving under the influence of alcohol. You could face severe penalties, including jail time, if you injure a pedestrian while you were driving drunk in Alabama.


Safety Tips for Pedestrians


Stick to Areas Designated for Pedestrians


The Alabama Department of Transportation is working hard to improve road safety for drivers as well as pedestrians. At many places across the state, landscape strips are provided that separate pedestrian and vehicular traffic.


There are also markings to guide pedestrians to the designated areas for crossing the road. For your own safety, you should stick to these areas when you are on foot in Alabama.


Do not Assume that a Car Driver has Seen You


Car drivers often do not pay as much attention as they should to protect pedestrians. During these times of Covid-19 shutdown, in particular, chances are that many drivers may be even less attentive than usual, or some of them could be even driving under the influence of liquor or drugs.


Therefore, even when you have the right of way, your best bet for your own safety is to cross an intersection only when you are sure that the traffic has come to a halt.


Be Mindful of the Vehicle Behind a Stopped Car


Although the car right in front you may notice you and stop, there is no guarantee that the vehicle behind will stop as well. Particularly during the coronavirus shutdown days in Alabama, a car driver behind may be less than cautious and try to drive around the vehicle in the front and hit you. Be mindful of this possibility as you are walking through a crosswalk.


Step Away if You Stop Your Car on a Highway


Your risk of a catastrophic pedestrian accident and injury is high when you have to stop your car on the side of a highway for some reason. If another driver traveling at a high speed fails to notice you on shoulder of the road, they could hit you. Leave as much space as you can between yourself and the roadway to give you and an oncoming driver extra time to avoid a crash.


Free Case Evaluation from an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer


At Zach Peagler law firm in Birmingham, AL our skilled personal injury attorneys have the knowledge, resources, and dedication to provide you robust legal representation. We will create an effective legal strategy to help you obtain your rightful damages in a pedestrian personal injury case. For a free case evaluation, call us today at (205) 871-9990.


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