Two pedestrians.

Pedestrian Struck by Wayward Cab

It has been said that knowledge is power. A recent car-on-pedestrian accident has proved that knowledge can provide significant defense as well. A 13-year-old schoolgirl, hit by a wayward car, was spared major injury because her impact was cushioned by a backpack filled with books!

On January 12, 2017, in Borough Park, Brooklyn, the driver behind the wheel of a livery cab had a heart attack, lost control of his vehicle, ran a curb, and struck a pedestrian. Miraculously, the pedestrian, an as-of-yet unidentified 13-year-old girl, survived the accident with only minor injuries, despite being thrown onto a nearby lawn. She was taken to a nearby hospital, treated for an ankle injury, and released. The driver, however, was not so lucky. As of the time of this writing, he remains in critical condition.

Terrifyingly, this scene was all caught on tape. It occurred near the intersection of 18th Avenue and 55th Street in Borough Park just before 8:15 a.m.

In an ideal world, pedestrians and drivers alike would remain alert to their surroundings, take precautionary safety measures while commuting, and always be mindful of the lives of other commuters with whom they share the roadways and sidewalks. In this way, a synergistic approach to road safety would form, wherein all citizens are safer and less likely to be involved in accidents. The key to achieving this idea requires a two-fold approach. The responsibility lies not just on drivers but on pedestrians as well. Below, we’ll take a look at safety tips which both parties can employ in order to meet this goal.

In the following sections, we’ll take a look at what steps you can take to protect yourself as both driver and pedestrian.

 

Tips for Pedestrians

Cars and trucks move at high speeds, and if a driver loses control, there may be nothing that you, the pedestrian, can do about it. However, there are preemptory measures you can take to help keep you out of harm’s way in the first place. Here are a few, courtesy of AAA:

  • Stick to the Rules! Most roads, especially in urban and suburban areas, are well-supplied with safety signage. These signs explicate the flows of traffic, and indicate where (and when!) it’s safe to cross streets and intersections. Making sure you observe these signs, and staying alert to all vehicles in the area, will greatly increase your safety.
  • Remove Distractions. Smartphones, electronic devices, and headphones are entertaining but distracting. If your eyes are on your device instead of the road, you might unknowingly walk into a dangerous situation. Being able to hear and see what is around you is of utmost importance when it comes to safety!
  • Wear brightly colored clothes. So as to appear more visible to motorists.
  • Avoid High-Danger Areas. Always use crosswalks when attempting to cross streets. If a crosswalk is not available at your particular intersection, choose the most well-lit spot and wait for traffic to entirely clear before attempting to cross. Use the side of the street with a sidewalk, if available. When walking on streets with no sidewalks, always walk facing traffic. Do not walk alongside highways or in other areas where pedestrian traffic is prohibited.
  • Stay Sharp. While driving under the influence is a punishable offense, walking through traffic-congested areas while drinking can be just as dangerous. It’s important for pedestrians to remember that their sobriety can also be instrumental in keeping themselves safe.

 

Tips for Drivers

Drivers must be on constant alert for pedestrians that may or may not enter the roadway. Young pedestrians may not yet grasp the rules of the road; a driver alert to the fact that a young child may, at any moment, chase a ball into the street has a far higher likelihood of reacting in a timely and life-saving manner. Beyond remaining vigilant, a driver can help prevent accidents by:

  • Driving the speed limit, “especially in areas of heavy pedestrian traffic.”
  • This is doubly as important in areas with low speed limits posted such as in school zones or neighborhood streets.
  • Reduce speed in foggy, rainy, snowy, dark or otherwise low-visibility scenarios. In these situations, it will be harder for you to see pedestrians and harder for them to see you.
  • Always back out of driveways and parking spots slowly and while carefully monitoring your surroundings.
  • Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.
  • Always be prepared to stop.
  • Do not pass other vehicles stopped at crosswalks.

 

Kaplan Lawyers PC

Kaplan Lawyers is the tristate area’s premier vehicular accident firm. This applies not only to vehicle-on-vehicle incidents, but vehicle and pedestrian accidents as well. Which means that if you or a loved one has been struck by a vehicle, you deserve to be represented by the best. At Kaplan Lawyers PC, our team of professional and compassionate attorneys are ready and eager to start fighting for you. Not sure what step to take next? Not sure where to turn? Contact Kaplan Lawyers PC today. Our consultations are a free and easy way to get started.