Fatalities involving pedestrians were on the decline at one time, but in recent years, they have increased at an alarming rate. If you enjoy walking for exercise, to save on gas, to avoid having to hunt for a parking space here in New Orleans or for some other reason, then you know how dangerous it can be at times.
Part of the problem is vehicles and their drivers. While vehicles become safer for occupants, they appear to present more danger to you and other pedestrians. Drivers may give in to distracted, drowsy or drunk driving. If you walk in the dark, your chances of suffering serious or fatal injuries increases even more. According to research, disproportionate amounts of pedestrian-involved accidents occur at night.
Do cities do enough to protect pedestrians at night?
Streetlights, reflective crosswalks and static signs are probably not enough to protect you as you walk at night when some drivers are barely paying attention to the road anyway. It’s possible for cities like New Orleans to do more to increase safety and reduce the number of pedestrian deaths by using one or more of the following:
- Change the timing on traffic signals to give pedestrians some extra time to cross without traffic moving around them.
- Change out static signs for ones with blinking LED lights that could better catch the attention of drivers.
- Focus on reducing left turn pedestrian crashes with the way traffic signals operate.
- Some reflective signs have become dull and no longer grab the attention of drivers as they used to, so upgrading those signs to more reflective ones could help save lives.
- Use lighting systems that better illuminate crosswalks. Regular streetlights often don’t provide enough light coverage of crosswalks to make sure that drivers see pedestrians.
Other technology could also help increase the safety of people on foot. The problem is that many cities do not have the budget to implement these changes, at least not right away. It shouldn’t be unreasonable to rely on drivers to follow through with their duty to other motorists and pedestrians by paying attention and not driving impaired or drowsy.
Not all drivers follow through with their duties
Sadly, it may be too much to expect some drivers to take their responsibilities behind the wheel seriously. If you encounter one of these drivers, you will more than likely suffer much more serious injuries as a pedestrian than the occupants of the vehicle that struck you. Your life could change in a matter of seconds, and your financial stability could change right along with it.
Pursuing the compensation you need and deserve at a time like this may not be as easy as you envision it. Insurance companies could delay or deny your claim. If you do receive a settlement offer, it may not even cover your current medical expenses, let alone anything else. You may anticipate needing to file a personal injury claim. Right now, you should have the freedom to focus on your recovery, so it would be a good idea to work with an experienced attorney in this endeavor.