Keep Pedestrians Safe After Recent Harrisonburg Accident

There are many occasions when drivers and pedestrians don’t see “eye to eye.”  Sometimes, it’s the pedestrian who steps out in front of an unsuspecting driver.  Other times, it might be the driver who blows through a crosswalk.  By boosting your awareness of pedestrian whereabouts, you (as a driver) can practice more consistent safety, which will hopefully help in avoiding accidents.  It’s important to keep the peace with pedestrians, especially after a Harrisonburg pedestrian was struck by a car recently.

Keep the Peace With Pedestrians:  Pedestrian Deaths

Pedestrian deaths resulting from being hit by a car climbed in 2018 with 6,227 deaths.  A recent report blames the increase in deaths on a greater number of larger vehicles (trucks and SUVs) on the roads as well as distracted driving caused by cell phone usage.

Groups Most At Risk

Further, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that there are three pedestrian groups who are most at-risk for accidents.  These groups include:

  • The elderly — ages 65 and over
  • Children — ages 5-9, and
  • pedestrians who have been drinking

Important Driving Tips for Pedestrian Safety

Despite these somber statistics, there are a couple of measures drivers can take to keep the peace with pedestrians:

  1.  Know where the children are

Frequently, children don’t pay attention to right of way and other traffic laws.  Without thinking and if not properly supervised, kids will dart out into the street without realizing that danger is lurking.  So, it’s up to us drivers to use extra caution in areas around schools, parks, and playgrounds.  Also, it’s important to remember to NEVER pass stopped school buses.  This not only presents a danger for the students on the bus but also can add some very serious penalty points on your driving record.

2.  Practice driveway safety

Backing out of your driveway may seem simple enough, but it can actually be a very dangerous activity.  Take your time when backing out of the driveway.  It is important not to rely only on your mirrors but also turn yourself in your seat to look behind the car.  Rolling down your window when backing can also help you hear approaching vehicles or pedestrians.

3.  Parking lot precautions

When a car backs into a pedestrian, it is called a back-over accident.  A whopping 52% of all back-over injuries happen in parking lots.  Use extra caution when maneuvering around parking lots.

4.  Think about the road conditions

Of course, bad weather and deteriorating road conditions increase the time it takes to stop a car.  This can mean if you are driving in bad weather when a pedestrian steps in the road, you might take longer to stop.  Many times, pedestrians don’t have on reflective-type gear that we rely on to spot other vehicles.  So, it’s important to adjust your speed with the weather.

5. Put away the smartphone

In addition to distracted drivers, there are also distracted walkers who carry their smartphones around and don’t pay attention to where they are going.  Add a driver who is also distracted by a smartphone or otherwise and you have a recipe for disaster. Avoid at all costs the temptation to multitask with your smartphone behind the wheel.

Harrisonburg Pedestrian Accident:  Wolfe and Mason Streets, Harrisonburg

A recent pedestrian accident which has made the news is the September 7, 2019 accident at the Intersection of East Wolfe Street and North Mason Street in Harrisonburg, Virginia.  The preliminary investigation has shown that a 52-year-old male was crossing at the intersection when he was struck by the driver of a 2007 Mercedes.

The victim was taken to Sentara Rockingham Memorial Hospital before being airlifted to the University of Virginia Medical Center with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

Talk To A Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

While crossing the street may seem like a simple process, an accident involving a pedestrian or bicyclist brings with it complex and conflicting laws in Virginia.  See our article on Bicycle and Pedestrian Accidents here.  When such complexities exist, it is important that you contact a lawyer who is experienced in handling these types of personal injury cases.  Pedestrian cases are not the same as accidents involving two vehicles.  Different laws apply.  You need someone experienced with this type of law to make sure that your claim is successful.  The lawyer you choose does make a difference.  The attorneys at the Ritchie Law Firm have successfully handled numerous pedestrian and cases, helping our clients heal from their injuries and be fairly compensated.  Contact us and we’ll give you a free evaluation of your case.

If you or a loved one has suffered significant injuries as a result of being a pedestrian or bicyclist in Virginia, Ritchie Law Firm is here to help.  The experienced, certified attorneys at the Ritchie Law Firm has helped thousands of injured victims and their families recover the compensation they deserve after an accident. Contact us by phone at 800-277-6124 or by using our online contact form.

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