Car vs pedestrian accidents are not a rare instance in Tucson. Cases of drivers ignoring red lights or accelerating at the last moment when the orange light is about to turn red are all too numerous in the metro area. Granted, the Tucson traffic light system is badly managed. It is frustrating for any car driver to sit 3 minutes at a red light on Campbell Avenue, waiting for the light on University to turn red when there is obviously no traffic whatsoever coming from this minor street.
But whether or not the City of Tucson handles its traffic management miserably, the law is the law: red means red, and orange is the time to decelerate not to accelerate. There is no excuse whatsoever for a car driver to ignore a red light or to endanger the lives of pedestrians and cyclists on the other side of a crossroad because the motorist accelerates on orange.
If you or a loved one suffered personal injuries due to an accident in a Tucson crosswalk, you can hold the negligent driver accountable for his or her actions.
Even though Tucson’s newly lit crosswalks are meant to enhance pedestrian safety, pedestrians still have to take extra safety precautions to avoid becoming a personal injury victim. Here are three effective preventative measures.
Cross in a designated crossing area
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4,743 pedestrians suffered fatal accident injuries in 2012. Another 76,000 pedestrians were injured. Pedestrians aged 65 and older accounted for 20% of these fatalities, so they are more at risk. The CDC found that most fatal car vs. pedestrian accidents occurred in urban areas, not at designated intersections. As a result, older adults should minimize their chances of suffering a pedestrian accident by only crossing in designated crosswalk areas. Whether old or young, pedestrians must know that jaywalking is still illegal and they can be fined by the police for crossing a roadway in other places than at designated crossing areas.
Increase your visibility
Even though drivers are responsible for looking for pedestrians in crosswalks and on the sides of the road, many fail to do so. And it is not always the result of negligence, but the outcome of bad circumstances. There are many badly lit areas in Tucson. At night, pedestrians have an increased risk of suffering an accident with a car just because they are hardly visible. And while walking in designated pedestrian areas can help lower this risk, wearing reflective clothing at night will be even more effective. Drivers are more likely to see someone on the side of the road or in a crosswalk if he or she is carrying a flashlight and wearing retro-reflective clothing. Remember that the population in Tucson is aging and with age, vision acuity decreases — especially in low light conditions. In car vs pedestrian accidents, cars are never injured and pedestrians always wind up with the short stick, even if they win in court.
Walk facing traffic
If no sidewalk is available, as is the case on many of Tucson roads near the outskirts of the city, pedestrians should walk on the left side of the road facing oncoming traffic. This allows pedestrians to establish eye contact with motorists. Facing the cars also allows pedestrians to respond to oncoming hazards and to make quick judgments to protect themselves.
If you or a loved one have suffered injuries in a car vs. pedestrian accident in Tucson, contact The Hameroff Law Firm, PC at (520) 792-4700. Our Tucson personal injury law firm provides hands-on representation to victims of personal injury, including brain damage, spinal cord injury, and broken bones. We also represent families who wish to file wrongful death claims against negligent drivers.