Alarmingly, pedestrian collisions are on the rise in our state. According to the most recent data from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC), pedestrian accidents and pedestrian fatalities have risen by approximately 10 percent over the last decade. Bicycle accident fatalities are on the rise as well. For reference, 2,146 pedestrians and 1,427 bicyclists are injured or killed in car accidents in Washington State every year. It does not have to be this way: the overwhelming majority of these accidents could have been prevented if only all parties had taken the proper safety precautions.
Distracted Driving is the Leading Cause of Pedestrian Accident Fatalities
Traffic safety experts warn that distracted driving is a serious safety threat for pedestrians. It is the most common reason cited in deadly pedestrian collisions in Washington. In fact, the WTSC reports that nearly 40 percent of fatal pedestrian accidents reported in our state involved a distracted driver.
The National Safety Council (NSC) has recommended a focus on reducing distracted driving as one of its key strategies to making overall improvements in pedestrian safety. When drivers keep their focus and attention on the road, pedestrian accidents are far less likely to occur. Unfortunately, evidence suggests that distracted driving is increasing: The near universal prevalence of smartphones make drivers even more susceptible to distractions.
Four Safety Tips for Pedestrians in Spokane
All motorists in Washington have a legal responsibility to watch out for the health and well-being of pedestrians and bicyclists. Still, with accidents being as common as they are, pedestrians should also take proactive steps to protect themselves from the risk of an accident. When pedestrian collisions occur, the consequences can be downright catastrophic. Here are four pedestrian safety tips for people in Eastern Washington:
- Use Sidewalks and Crosswalks: While not available on every road in Eastern Washington, pedestrians should try to walk on sidewalks and use crosswalks whenever they are available, even if it means going a little out of the way.
- Stay Visible: Never assume a driver can see you. Pedestrians should try to make themselves as recognizable as possible—especially if walking at night or in poor visibility. It is a best practice to wear light-colored clothing.
- Stand Clear of Obstacles: Be very careful if you are walking near or between parked cars, trees, bushes, or any other obstruction. A driver may not notice your presence.
- Avoid Distractions: Distractions are not only a problem for drivers. Pedestrians who are focused on the phone may be at greater risk of injury.
Contact Our Spokane Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Today
At Albrecht Law PLLC, our Washington auto accident attorneys have the knowledge, training, and legal skills to handle all types of pedestrian collision claims. If you or your loved one was struck by a vehicle, we will protect your rights. For a free, no obligation review of your personal injury case, please do not hesitate to contact our Spokane law office today by calling (509) 495-1246. We represent injured pedestrians throughout Eastern Washington.