3 ways to protect yourself as a pedestrian

If walking across the street in Birmingham seems more dangerous lately, you aren’t imagining things. A 2022 report ranked Alabama as the 11th-most dangerous state in the country for pedestrians. Not that pedestrian accidents only are on the rise in Alabama. Another study found that pedestrian fatalities have jumped 59 percent nationwide since 2009.

Unfortunately, drivers continue to put pedestrians in harm’s way. Distracted driving, drunk driving, speeding and other reckless behavior remain chronic dangers. As a pedestrian, you might have no time to avoid an out-of-control motorist and their multi-ton car, truck or SUV. Still, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of serious injury in a collision with a motor vehicle.

  • Use the crosswalk. While the crosswalk is not perfect protection against negligent drivers, you are safer crossing the street there than the middle of the block.
  • Stay on the sidewalk. Similarly, use the sidewalk instead of the side of the road whenever possible. Even if the street has a bike lane or wide shoulder, you never know if a driver is going to swerve into you from behind.
  • Put your phone down. Keep your head up and turn off your phone while walking across. You need to be able to see a bad driver coming as soon as possible.

As careful as you are crossing the road, you cannot guarantee that a vehicle won’t hit you someday. Injuries could cause you terrible pain and suffering, put you out of work and generally leave you miserable. Fortunately, the driver responsible for what happened can be held liable for the financial impact of their actions.

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