Walking is one of the best things that you can do for your health and for the natural environment. This low-impact, low-stress activity is both cathartic and efficient. If you want to get somewhere while burning calories and mentally detoxing, lacing up your tennis shoes is a great way to do it.
Walking doesn’t require any fossil fuels or produce any emissions, and you don’t have to worry about auto insurance or auto maintenance. For pedestrians, however, getting from place to place often comes with a lot of risk. Following are the four worst things about being a pedestrian.
1. Unprotected Right Turns
With unprotected right turns, drivers can turn right before their light actually changes, so long as there’s no cross-traffic in the form of other vehicles or pedestrians. At busy intersections, unprotected right turns can be incredibly problematic for those traveling on foot.
Antsy drivers can start inching their way forward, putting pressure on pedestrians. At some intersections, drivers often assume the right-of-way and start moving immediately, thereby forcing pedestrians to wait through their walk signals or risk being run over. Whether too hurried to follow the rules of the road or simply poorly versed in them, drivers don’t always yield to walkers when making these turns.
When drivers aren’t paying attention, they can plow directly into pedestrians before anyone has the opportunity to take evasive action. As a pedestrian, once you start crossing the street, oncoming traffic can leave you with no room to run and little time to react. The risk of this happening is even greater during:
- Rush hour traffic
- Inclement weather
- Late evening and early morning hours
Pedestrians don’t just have to watch out for distracted and impatient drivers. They also have to be cognizant of people who are exiting their vehicles. When passengers swing their car doors wide open without looking first, they run the risk of knocking cyclists off their bicycles and pedestrians off their feet.
In these instances, failure to make sure that the area is free and clear of obstructions can be construed as negligence. Although being struck by an opening car door doesn’t necessarily count as a car crash, you can still seek compensation for medical bills related to any injuries that this type of negligence causes.
Being in a car accident is never a good experience. However, these events are always worse for pedestrians. While motorists and their passengers have the protection of their vehicles, safety restraints, crumple zones, airbags, and other collision-related safety features, pedestrians are completely vulnerable.
As such, their injuries can be disfiguring, life-altering, and fatal. Even a minor crash can leave a pedestrian with traumatic brain injury, loss of limbs, paralysis, and other forms of devastating and lasting harm.
As a pedestrian, few things are scarier than having a vehicle moving swiftly towards you while its driver is obviously engaged with their mobile phone. Distracted drivers are problematic for everyone on the road, but their failure to pay attention can be most detrimental to pedestrians.
As more motorists turn to hands-free, in-car technologies, there’s increasing evidence that these tools can be just as dangerous as hand-held devices. Whenever drivers are multi-tasking, they aren’t giving the road their undivided attention.
Walking is great for your health. The best way to stay healthy as a pedestrian, however, is by always being aware of the risks that the surrounding traffic presents. When drivers aren’t paying attention and aren’t following the rules of the road, even minor lapses can lead to life-changing damages.
About the Author:
Kyle Hambright is a passionate writer proudly representing Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. He has focused his legal career on personal injury cases, and throughout his practice, Kyle has helped people from all walks of life. This determination transpires in his writings as well. His articles translate the complex web of legal jargon into accessible text. Readers not only gain a firm grasp on theory, but they also learn how to put it into practice.