Today is National Walking Day in the U.S.  It is an event, sponsored by the American Heart Association (AHA), to remind people about the health benefits of getting outside and taking a walk. The AHA advises participants in this event to wear comfy clothes, stretch beforehand, and stay hydrated (heart.org); however, there are additional safety precautions to keep in mind any time that you are walking on the roadway.

 

At some point in the day, everyone is a pedestrian: whether you are walking to your vehicle, walking a child to their bus stop, walking into your workplace, walking across the parking lot to the store, etc.  But being a pedestrian can be dangerous.  Every year, about 14% of all traffic fatalities, and 3% of traffic injuries involve pedestrians (nhtsa.org).  To avoid these types of collisions, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) advises walkers to: wear bright clothing, walk in well-lit areas, use cross-walks, and obey traffic signals.  One of the most important things you can do as a pedestrian is watch out for distracted drivers.

 

Distracted Driving is any activity that diverts a motorist’s attention away from the road, whether that be talking on the phone, texting, eating, drinking, talking to the other passengers in the car, adjusting the stereo, or programming the navigation system.  When a driver takes his or her eyes off the road, collisions are more likely to happen.

 

On National Walking Day, as with any day, pedestrians need to be on the lookout for distracted drivers.  Walkers cannot assume vehicles will stop for them.  They should make eye contact with the driver before walking into traffic.  If the driver is on their cell phone, the pedestrian should not only make eye contact with the motorist – they should also make sure the vehicle stops or yields before they step onto the roadway.  During the daytime, when pedestrians are more active, approximately 660,000 drivers are using their cell phones while driving (nhtsa.gov).

 

The next time you head outside for a walk, be sure to pay attention to the traffic around you and beware of distracted drivers.  If you, or someone you know, has been injured in a pedestrian-involved accident, give The Gore Law Firm a call today at (404) 436-1529.  As a personal injury law firm, we represent pedestrians as victims of collisions, and help provide peace of mind through the legal process.

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