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Pedestrian-vehicle accidents: Causes of trouble

As a pedestrian, regardless of your location, you'll typically find yourself in close proximity to motor vehicles. As a driver of a motor vehicle, it's also, obviously, common to see pedestrians on the sidewalk, crossing the street and in many other areas.

Pedestrian-vehicle accidents remain a major concern, especially in large cities like San Antonio where there are a lot of people walking, jogging, running and bicycling.

Fortunately, when both pedestrians and drivers take extra caution, these types of accidents are avoidable.

Driver's duty of care

Drivers are responsible for exercising reasonable care when operating a motor vehicle in close proximity to pedestrians. Some of the many factors that often contribute to these types of accidents include:

  • Disobeying traffic signals, such as speeding through a red light at a busy city intersection
  • Distracted driving, which commonly includes texting or talking on a cellphone
  • Speeding
  • Failure to yield to pedestrians at crosswalks
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or prescription medication
  • Disregarding traffic conditions, such as stop and go traffic during rush hour
  • Disregarding weather conditions, such as strong winds and heavy rain

When a driver does one or more of these things, the risk of striking a pedestrian increases.

What can pedestrians do?

As a pedestrian, you hope that all drivers are willing to follow the rules of the road. However, you know deep down inside that this isn't likely to hold true.

There are things you can do to improve your safety, such as:

  • Looking both ways (two or three times) before crossing the road
  • Using designated crosswalks to cross the road
  • Following the direction of the "walk" and "don't walk" signals at an intersection
  • Making eye contact with drivers when crossing the road

What to do if a vehicle strikes you

Pedestrians don't have any protection in an accident with a vehicle, so even a low speed crash can result in serious injury or death.

You should take these immediate steps after an accident:

  • Call 911 or ask a witness to do so
  • Wait for paramedics to arrive
  • Administer first aid (often with the help of someone else)
  • Receive treatment at a local hospital

Taking these steps as quickly as possible improve the likelihood of making a full recovery.

As time and your health allows, contact your insurance company and formulate a detailed strategy for seeking compensation from the negligent driver.

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