November 01, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Grad student's tragic death shows Wisconsin's problem with pedestrian accidents
It shouldn't be dangerous for people to walk along the street or cross at a crosswalk; unfortunately, it's alarmingly common for people to be hit by drivers who are impaired, distracted or just didn't see the pedestrian
. The Centers for Disease Control reported that in 2010, a staggering 70,000 pedestrians were injured in the United States, and 4,280 were killed.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, the number of pedestrians killed in our state has been on the decline over the past couple of decades. However, with about one Wisconsin pedestrian hurt or killed every seven hours, more needs to be done to help prevent further tragedies.
Laws to protect pedestrians
Like the rest of the country, our state has stringent laws to protect people walking near traffic. Drivers need to yield the right-of-way to people attempting to cross at a crosswalk, whether or not the crosswalk is clearly marked; any intersection, whether marked or not, is considered a crosswalk. Vehicles are not allowed to turn at any intersection where a person is crossing or attempting to cross. And to protect the drivers from legal and criminal action, as well as to protect pedestrians, people on foot are prohibited from crossing the street against a green traffic light.
Despite the laws, many drivers still make it unsafe for people to cross the street on foot. Last August, a 32-year-old grad student was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver while she was crossing the road at an unmarked Milwaukee intersection, as reported by WISN.com. The driver was later arrested, and found to have had a previous record of hit-and-run and evading police.
Common pedestrian risks
People face the most risk from vehicle traffic on weekdays between the hours of 3:00 and 7:00 pm - when kids are walking home from school and adults are leaving work. Intersections are the most common locations for people to be hit by cars. And perhaps most disturbing of all, kids are particularly at risk for being hurt or killed. About half of those involved in pedestrian crashes are children.
WalkingInfo.org says it's important for people to get out for some exercise, and that improvements in driver and pedestrian education, law enforcement and facilities has led to an overall increased safety for people who like to get out in the fresh air. If drivers pay attention to some tips suggested by Esurance, the roads can be even safer for all who use them:
-Pay special attention to places where children will most often be, such as school zones, playgrounds and neighborhoods.
-Slow down at crosswalks and watch for people crossing before turning.
-Be especially careful when backing up, particularly in parking lots, where most backing-up injuries occur.
-Don't be distracted by a phone or other electronic devices while driving.
-Keep an eye out for pedestrians with special needs.
It's understandable that drivers and pedestrians alike can feel frustrated and intimidated by the other; drivers may feel that pedestrians jaywalk or don't pay attention to where they walk, while people on foot often complain that drivers race through intersections without looking to make sure nobody is trying to cross. However, by taking precautions and being aware of everyone on the road, more accidents can be prevented.
Contacting an attorney
Unfortunately, it's impossible to prevent all accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured
while crossing the street, contact an experienced personal injury right away to find out about your rights.
Visit us at milwaukeecaraccidentattorney.net/