Running is certainly good for your health overall, but it can also be very hazardous if you run along roads and city streets. It’s been reported that about 122,000 runners get hit by cars and end up in the hospital every year. Transportation for America backed this up in their own report, saying that around 5,300 pedestrians died in accidents involving vehicles every year. This doesn’t take into account runners who are hit and escape with minor injuries that don’t require a trip to the hospital.
Why does this happen? Inattentiveness while driving, or distracted driving, is the cause of many debilitating injuries and fatalities. With the advances in technology it’s becoming easier and easier for drivers to be distracted while operating a vehicle causing innocent runners to be in danger.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration a pedestrian is killed in a traffic accident every 2 hours, and pedestrian injuries occur every 8 minutes. These collisions are a result of distracted driving, negligent driving, and drivers failing to yield to pedestrians.
There is no complete list of steps to take in order to guarantee that a pedestrian or runner accident will not occur. Instead, it’s important to exercise due care and consider the actions you take in dangerous or potentially dangerous situations. Here are some of the things drivers can do to minimize the risks of pedestrian accidnets.
- Avoid looking at your phone. This includes using navigation applications or changing the music. In the event that something important arises, like a phone call from work, consider pulling over to the side of the road to take the call.
- Check your mirrors a few times, look to your left and right, and proceed slowly when backing out of driveways and parking lot spaces. Drive carefully when backing out of driveways and parking lots, especially in school zones and busy shopping centers.
- Keep your windshield clear of dirt and debris, and make sure your side and rearview mirrors are in working condition and in the right positions to maximize your field of view.
- Always drive at a speed that is safe for conditions. Rain will make the roads slippery and can lead to hydroplaning and losing control of the vehicle. In bad weather, give yourself extra time to brake and more room to stop.
- Signal when you are making turns or switching lanes, and come to a complete stop at stop signs. Slow down when proceeding through a crosswalk or intersection, and be aware of pedestrians on the sidewalk.
Keeping these tips in mind can create a safer environment for runners, walkers, cyclists and all pedestrians. Not all accidents, however, can be avoided. If you have been injured, consulting with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney can help you and your family move forward. For a free consultation with The Pisanchyn Law Firm, call 1-800-444-5309. We have offices in Scranton, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Harrisburg and will travel to you.