Each year, the city of Austin sees around 15,000 automobile crashes, resulting in thousands of injuries and dozens of fatalities. But no one is more vulnerable in a car accident than pedestrians. Unlike other motorists, a pedestrian lacks any protective barrier between them and a negligent driver, so they end up suffering the brunt of any collision.
As an experienced Austin pedestrian accident attorney, I have met with clients who have suffered horrific injuries—concussions, amputations, paralysis, and spinal cord damage. Their lives have been forever changed because of the actions of a careless or reckless driver.
We have also met with too many grieving family members who lost a loved one in a crash. Please follow the tips below for more information about how to avoid a fatal accident.
Always Use Crosswalks & Sidewalks
You should never jaywalk, which dramatically increases the chances of an accident. Motorists are not expecting a person to shoot out into the middle of the road, so always walk to the nearest crosswalk when you want to cross. Remember to wait until the light tells you it is okay to go. Also remember to use the sidewalk whenever one is available. If there is no sidewalk, stay as close to the shoulder as possible to reduce your chances of getting hit.
Yield the Right of Way, if Necessary
A pedestrian in a crosswalk has the right of way, but don’t expect motorists to respect that. Too many motorists think that pedestrians should yield to them. Out of an abundance of caution, always yield to a vehicle that is racing through the crosswalk.
Make Yourself Visible at Night
A motorist who can’t see you is much more likely to crash into you, so increase your visibility accordingly. Some measures people take include:
- Walking with a flashlight
- Putting reflective tape on your jacket, book bag, or hat
- Avoiding wearing dark clothing, which will cause you to blend in with the night
Watch Out for Bicycles, Too
Trucks and cars are not the only dangers a pedestrian must watch out for. People on a fast-moving bicycle can also slam into pedestrians and cause life-threatening injuries. Unfortunately, many cyclists are even less observant of the rules of the road than drivers of passenger sedans, so keep your eyes peeled for any approaching bikes.
Avoid Distracted Walking
If you’re looking at your cell phone, you’ll never see a vehicle racing toward the intersection. Wearing headphones can also limit your ability to hear a vehicle, making you even more vulnerable. Always reduce distractions and remain alert to your surroundings. Walk on the side of the road facing traffic so you can see the vehicles as they approach.
Go Immediately to the Doctor if You are Struck
Some people actually feel fine after being hit, only to finally succumb to problems a day or two later. You might not immediately know whether or not you have suffered a serious injury, so go to the doctor or hospital to be checked out. Some brain injuries, for example, don’t manifest for a day or two.
Meet with a Pedestrian Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one was struck by a car or bicycle, you must move quickly to preserve your right to legal compensation. Robert Littlefield Buford III has helped countless pedestrians after a serious injury, and he is available to discuss your legal options as well.
To schedule a free consultation, please call us today at 512-456-9126.