If you do a considerable amount of walking along Indiana roads, it is important that you understand the laws and regulations that govern both pedestrians and drivers. Your understanding of such laws could prevent a serious and potentially fatal pedestrian accident.
Emergency personnel, construction workers, law enforcement officers and citizens are killed every day across the country due to being hit when on the side of the road and out of their vehicles. These people are typically not just standing on the roadside to be standing there. They may be doing their job or reacting to their vehicle being disabled. Anytime you get out of your vehicle on an Indiana roadway, you become vulnerable, but sometimes there is no way to avoid it. The state has stepped in to try to help keep you safer if you find yourself in this situation.
When you are a pedestrian, you are subject to the risks of walking near moving vehicles. There are times when drivers do not even notice people around them or pedestrians walking in the road. In fact, if you have ever been behind the wheel, you may have had an experience where you did not notice someone standing on the roadside until it startled you a little. At Doane Law Office, LLC, we are familiar with the dangers that pedestrians in Indiana are subject to.
When you think about pedestrian hazards in Indiana, you probably think of the vehicles, and the drivers controlling them. Distracted, drunk or aggressive drivers all play their part in pedestrian deaths each year. However, some of the fault for fatal accidents rests in the hands of the professionals who designed the roadways.
School zones should be safe areas for middle and high school students in Indiana to cross streets as they approach their schools. According to SafeKids.org, though, school zones have many of the same dangers common to any city street.
Maybe you rarely travel anywhere on foot, particularly if your Indiana community lacks decent sidewalks and intersections with well-marked crosswalks. However, most people find walking across parking lots a part of everyday life. At the Doane Law Office, LLC, we understand that these short trips between the vehicle and the final destination can at times be even more dangerous than walking across town.
Each year, the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute prepares a traffic safety report of state data for the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Included in this report are the new statistics involving pedestrian fatalities. According to the numbers for 2017, there were 107 pedestrians killed, an increase of 22 over 2016, and the highest number in the past 10 years.
Pedestrian accidents happen in all sorts of ways and we have written about some on this blog. For example, a person may be hit by a vehicle while trying to help a stranded motorist or a pedestrian might be struck by a car while they are trying to cross the street. Sadly, some drivers simply do not pay attention to pedestrians or keep a close watch on the road when they drive, which puts lives at risk. In Indiana, and across the rest of the country, many lives are lost each year due to pedestrian accidents and it is vital for everyone to realize just how widespread these fatal incidents are.
Whether you take walks to enjoy fresh air, for exercise or as a means of getting from point A to point B, you probably understand the importance of following Indiana's traffic laws for pedestrians. Unfortunately, you cannot guarantee that your safety precautions will keep you safe, and in a collision with a vehicle, you will almost certainly come out the loser.
Most Indiana residents take basic actions like crossing the street on foot for granted. These things are in many ways simple and should be easily done. However, because cars can be on the roads at the same time, pedestrians have to be ever aware of the risks they face. Even if a pedestrian is crossing in the location and at the time they should, they can still be struck by vehicles because not all drivers are appropriately aware or safe.