Pedestrian Fatalities On The Rise In Virginia

WHSV-TV3 is reporting that pedestrian fatalities are on the rise in Virginia.  TV3 has gathered its information from the Virginia DMV which reports that in 2018 in Virginia, 123 pedestrians died as a result of traffic accidents.  There was very little improvement of that staggering number in 2019. All of these statistics point to the unfortunate news that pedestrian fatalities are on the rise in Virginia.

In 2019, the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission reported 29 pedestrian-involved crashes with 31 injuries and 1 fatality.  The regions included in this Planning District are Harrisonburg, Staunton, Waynesboro, Augusta County, Bath County, Rockbridge County, and Rockingham County.

Unfortunately, Virginia is not alone in the increase of pedestrian fatalities.  In 2017, a pedestrian was killed every 88 minutes as a result of traffic crashes in the U.S.  Despite such shocking figures in 2017, in 2018, the United States Department of Transportation reported a 3% increase in the number of pedestrians killed in traffic crashes.

Those most at risk for pedestrian injuries include older adults and children as well as drivers and pedestrians who are alcohol-impaired.

Stay Safe As A Pedestrian

What can you do to make sure you stay safe while walking?  Follow these 10 walking safety tips:

  1.  Follow the rules of the road and obey signs and signals, such as “walk now” lights and signals.
  2.  Walk on sidewalks and in crosswalks, whenever they are available.
  3.  If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far out of the roadway as possible.
  4.  Be alert at all times.  Don’t get distracted by electronic devices.
  5.  Cross streets in crosswalks or at intersections.  These are places where drivers will expect pedestrians.
  6.  This is obvious but so important — when crossing streets, look for cars in ALL directions, including those turning left or right.
  7.  Look for a gap in traffic that will allow you to cross safely.
  8.  Cross at well-lit areas and in places where you can see oncoming traffic best.
  9.  Make eye contact with drivers to make sure they see you.  DON’T EVER ASSUME A DRIVER SEES YOU!
  10.  If you walk frequently, wear bright clothing and carry a flashlight.
  11.  Avoid drinking and walking!  As with driving, alcohol also impairs the vision and judgment of pedestrians.

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 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.