Whether you walk out of necessity or for pure enjoyment, you should take steps to protect yourself on foot. After all, in 2018, pedestrian fatalities reached a 28-year high in the U.S. That year, more than 6,000 walkers, joggers and runners lost their lives in collisions with motor vehicles.
While pedestrians played a role in some of these accidents, most were the fault of drivers. When it comes to explaining the reason for the recent increase in pedestrian fatalities, vehicle size and driver distractions share much of the blame.
Of the 25 best-selling vehicles in the U.S. in 2020, 18 were trucks, vans or SUVs. The sheer size of these vehicles makes them hazardous to pedestrians. After all, larger vehicles tend to have larger driver blind spots. When you are crossing a street or walking behind a large vehicle, there is some chance the driver simply cannot see you.
Despite safety campaigns from federal, state and local officials, distracted driving remains a major problem on roadways in Georgia and across the country. If drivers are paying more attention to their smartphones than they are to the driving task, they may inadvertently collide with you.
Many modern vehicles have backup cameras, object sensors and other safety features that may decrease collisions with pedestrians. Still, if drivers rely too heavily on these features, they may develop a false sense of security. Put bluntly, there is no substitute for looking twice for pedestrians.
You probably should not let the recent spike in pedestrian fatalities dissuade you from walking in your community. Nevertheless, if a driver injures you when you are on foot, you may be eligible for substantial financial compensation.