Recent auto accident deaths in Arizona highlight dangers for pedestrians

In just the past few weeks, motorists in Tucson and Phoenix have killed innocent pedestrians. Sadly, one of the Arizona accidents was a hit-and-run and witnesses have not yet been found who can provide details to law enforcement agents.

Early in March of this year, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) announced that the number of pedestrian deaths across the nation is on the decline for the first time in years. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 4,000 people were killed in a one-year period while 70,000 more were injured. However, some cities in Arizona have seen a sharp increase in fatal car versus pedestrian accidents in the past year.

Additionally, just days after the release of the promising GHSA statistics, a negligent driver plowed into a crowd of people, killing two and injuring 23 others at the South by Southwest festival in Texas. While there are many causes of motor vehicle accidents, the driver tried to avoid a sobriety checkpoint by speeding the wrong way down a one-way street and smashing through a barricade.

Safe practices for pedestrians

Walkers, runners, bikers and motorcyclists are more susceptible to personal injuries when in accidents than are drivers or passengers in automobiles. Not only is there the danger of a wrongful death but traumatic brain and spinal injuries are common with accidents. Even a minor fender-bender can cause enough of a jolt to a person's neck or head sufficient to cause a brain injury.

The CDC reports that children and older adults are more likely to fall victim to car versus pedestrian accidents. However, people of any age are at risk. Follow these pointers to keep yourself and loved ones safe when walking near or sharing roads with vehicles:

  • Be visible: Drivers must see you in order to avoid hitting you and you may be harder to see than you think. Wear light colored clothing at night and carry a flashlight or other lighted device to make yourself more visible. Reflective clothing is easy to come by now and should be used for your children as well as your pets.
  • Keep to designated walkways: Whenever possible, stay on the sidewalk and use marked crosswalks. Young children are nearly invisible if they dart out from between parked cars. If there are no sidewalks, walk against traffic to increase your awareness of oncoming vehicles.
  • Avoid drinking and walking: Similar to drunk driving, walking or biking while intoxicated can be deadly. Impaired walkers are more likely to misjudge the speed of vehicles or accidently stumble into oncoming traffic.

Unfortunately, preventative care often does not matter when a negligent or dangerous driver is at the wheel. If you or a loved one suffers from injuries sustained in an automobile accident, seek the counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney. A lawyer can help you obtain compensation for your losses.