Douglas V. Stoehr, Attorney at Law
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So, we know about car safety, bike safety, ATV safety, and motorcycle safety, but what about WALKING safety?  Many of us take walking for granted as a safe, healthy, and cost-effective way to get from place to place.  Unfortunately, many of us also practice some very unsafe habits that could lead us to getting seriously injured.  The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) has taken pedestrian safety under their wing, since distracted drivers AND distracted pedestrians account for many person/vehicle collision, which no one wants to happen! 

According to GHSA, over 20% of pedestrians killed last year were the result of hit-and-run accidents.  Pedestrian accidents are on the rise, and 70% of the victims are male.  A great deal of pedestrian fatalities occur when law enforcement officers are hit outside of their vehicles.  These statistics are unacceptable! Both pedestrians and drivers need to do their part to make sure that they are safe, aware, and focused when traveling from place to place.
So, what can you do to remain safe while sharing the road with pedestrians, drivers, and bicyclists?
  • Be aware of your surroundings! Walkers, choose routes that have sidewalks.  Stay out of bike lanes and try to avoid roads without a designated pedestrian walkway.  Drivers, be extra cautious when driving on roads that have winding curves, no sidewalk, or low visibility.  Walkers may be forced to use these roads, leaving them with reduced protection and an increased accident risk.
  • Don't be a distracted traveler!  Don't use your phone or other devices while you drive or walk.  Walkers, avoid using headphones when traveling.  You may not be able to hear an approaching car if your music is blasting too loud!
  • When a car is pulled over on the side of the road, move into the opposite lane!  Give anyone who may need to exit the car enough space to do so safely.  On the opposite side, if you are exiting a car on the highway, try to use the doors the furthest away from the road.  Also make sure to turn on your four-way lights, especially at night and in severe weather. 
  • Drivers, remember that, even if the pedestrian is the one who is distracted/at fault in an accident, you may face a potential lawsuit.  Be extra vigilant and don't expect pedestrians to move out of the way or see that you are approaching. 
Additionally, did you know this fact? If you are involved in a car accident, Pennsylvania has at least one section on the incident report to address to distracted driving violations. Fines and charges may increase if you are cited with one of these violations. In addition to fines and charges for distracted driving, you also are putting yourself and others in serious danger.  Attorney Stoehr represents those injured through no fault of their own, including automobile and pedestrian accidents. Call today for your free case evaluation 814-946-4100.
Learn more about the GHSA's pedestrian safety study by clicking this link

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