Walking Can Be Dangerous to Your Health

Travel by foot directly exposes pedestrians to traffic and leads to more serious injuries during an accident with a motor vehicle. With the increased need for roadways to serve multiple modes of transportation, pedestrians are losing their health and sometimes their lives in the process.

In August of this year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released data showing a three percent increase in pedestrian deaths in 2011. While percentage increases make a statement, the hard figures look like this:

  • More than 4,400 pedestrians were killed and 69,000 were injured in 2011.
  • One pedestrian was killed every two hours that year, and one pedestrian was injured every eight minutes.

Even one pedestrian life lost is a tragedy to family, friends and the community. Recognizing the need for action, the NHTSA launched a safety website and provided grant money to 22 high-risk cities for pedestrians for programs to enhance pedestrian safety.

Of the 22 dangerous cities pinpointed by the NHTSA, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Stockton are in California.

Stay safe by observing these simple tips if you are traveling by foot:

  • Do not walk distracted or impaired by drugs or alcohol.
  • Know that oncoming traffic may not stop.
  • On roads without sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far off the road as possible.
  • Don’t wear headphones in both ears.
  • Pay attention to driveways, garages,  and alleys.
  • Don’t walk in the bike lane, stay off the road.
  • Carry a light and wear fluorescent orange vest if you walk when it is dusk or night.
  • Look for turning cars even when walking with the light in a crosswalk.
  • Only cross the street at corners.
  • If traffic stops in one lane to let you cross, be very careful as you walk across the lane into the next lane, as those cars may not see you crossing.

If you are injured in a pedestrian accident, seek medical help immediately. When you are injured because of the negligence of a driver, you have the right to seek compensation for injury and losses. Preserve a legal claim by taking the following steps:

  • Retain all torn clothing and other evidence from the accident.
  • Obtain pictures as soon as possible of the accident site and your injuries.
  • Keep all medical records and follow all medical advice.

Walking is intended to improve, not destroy, your health. Speak with an experienced injury attorney in California if you have been seriously hurt in a pedestrian accident.

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