Intersections not only are responsible for a large percentage of vehicle-on-vehicle crashes, they also can be dangerous to pedestrians. Both drivers and pedestrians can take actions to enhance pedestrian safety and avoid accidents at intersection crossings.
Situations that Put Pedestrians at Risk at Intersections
- Insufficient traffic signals at busy high-speed and multi-lane intersections
- Drivers who don’t pay attention to yield signs and run stop signs and red lights
- Pedestrians crossing against traffic signals
- Pedestrians misjudging the speed of oncoming traffic when attempting to cross without a signal
- Poor enforcement of traffic laws
- Traffic signal timings too short to allow safe intersection crossing, especially on very wide roads
- Pedestrians’ failure to understand crossing signals
- Accidents involving turning vehicles, especially those turning left
- Right-turns-on-red when drivers frequently fail to yield to pedestrians
- Poorly-lit intersections after dark
How Pedestrians Can Prevent Accidents at Intersections
- Always walk on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic.
- Cross streets at marked crosswalks or intersections whenever possible.
- Look left, right, and left again before crossing a street.
- Obey traffic signals such as WALK/DON’T WALK signs, but don’t rely solely on signals; look before you cross to make sure drivers are stopping.
- Watch for turning vehicles; make sure the driver sees you and will stop for you. Make eye contact with the driver to make certain you’ve been seen before entering the intersection.
- Look across all lanes and make sure they are all clear before you cross. Just because one motorist stops, don’t assume drivers in other lanes can see you and will stop for you.
- Don’t wear headphones or talk on a cell phone while crossing.
- Don’t walk when you’ve been drinking.
- Listen for engine sounds or backup lights when in parking lots and near on-street parking.
- Make yourself visible to drivers by standing clear of trees, bushes, buses, and anything else that might obscure a driver’s view.
- Wear light or brightly-colored clothing and reflective materials at night.
- Carry a flashlight when you walk after dark.
- Cross only in well-lit areas at night.
How Drivers Can Prevent Hitting Pedestrians at Intersections
- Look carefully at the road ahead and the sides of the road for pedestrians.
- Don’t drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Avoid distractions when driving, especially cell phones and texting.
- Look carefully behind your car before backing up.
- Keep your windshield clean and your headlights on for better visibility.
- Yield to pedestrians in marked and unmarked crosswalks.
- Yield to pedestrians when turning at intersections.
- Don’t block crosswalks.
- Don’t pass or overtake a vehicle stopped for pedestrians.
- Obey speed limits and red lights; stop completely at STOP signs.
- Be especially careful when driving where children play near streets or around older pedestrians.
- Be alert; always be prepared to stop for pedestrians.
Getting Help Following a Pedestrian Accident
A pedestrian who is hit by a car and suffers serious injuries will often have a claim against the driver. For more than 25 years, attorney Jim Dodson has helped victims of pedestrian accidents caused by negligent drivers to recover compensation for their losses from the accident. If you or someone you know has been injured as a pedestrian, you will want to know your legal rights before making a costly mistake accepting a quick, low settlement from the insurance company. Request a free copy of the Florida Pedestrian Accident Guide to learn the steps to take to be protected now.
If you have questions concerning making a claim and need immediate help, call 888-207-0905 to schedule a free review of your injury claim with Jim, at no obligation.