An auto accident in Kentucky can happen to anyone, but some people are subject to greater vulnerability than others. Those who are not protected by a vehicle of their own can suffer catastrophic injuries and death. Specifically, this is true for pedestrians. With the inherent dangers and the worrisome increase in drivers who are distracted, are speeding, are drunk or are simply reckless, steps are being taken to try and emphasize pedestrian safety. Still, no campaign is foolproof and people who have been injured in a pedestrian-auto accident should remember their options in the aftermath.
National Pedestrian Safety Month was meant to enhance safety
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that a pedestrian is killed every 84 minutes across the nation. Seventeen percent of road fatalities are pedestrians. To combat this, October was National Pedestrian Safety Month. Promoted by the NHTSA and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Office of Highway Safety, the goal was to tell drivers that pedestrians are in danger and it is imperative to pay attention to the road to avoid a collision. The program focuses on telling drivers about the dangers of cellphone use behind the wheel. This is also a problem for pedestrians who tend to look at their phones to a worrying degree when walking.
Along with distraction, daylight savings time is also a concern. Since it is getting dark earlier, people can have trouble seeing pedestrians when they are behind the wheel. Also, there are subtle changes to sleep patterns that can lead to drowsy driving in the weeks after changing the clocks. In Kentucky, there were 92 pedestrian fatalities in 2020. Of those, seventy-three happened after it got dark. The latest statistics in 2021 showed 50 pedestrian fatalities. Of those, 36 came after dark. Pedestrians are advised to walk in lighted areas, wear reflective clothing, use crosswalks and do not rely on traffic signals and signs as a determinative factor of when to cross. Drivers are told to adhere to the law, be predictable and, above all, avoid distractions.
Holding drivers accountable for pedestrian crashes
These campaigns aside, the sad fact is that people will continue to behave in risky ways behind the wheel and put pedestrians in jeopardy of injuries and death in an auto accident. Those who were injured or lost a loved one might think insurance will be there to help them with the personal, financial and emotional turmoil they will face. Unfortunately, that is rarely the case and the offers they present are woefully limited. Seeking justice and holding those responsible accountable for their lack of care may require legal guidance. After the accident, it is critical to have professional assistance to determine the preferable strategy. Consulting with those who are experienced in these cases is a wise step from the start.