Pedestrian deaths have risen dramatically in recent years due to distracted driving and even distracted walking. The Governors Highway Safety estimates that 6,227 pedestrians were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2018 a 4% hike the year before, and 35% since 2008.1
While fatalities among others on the roadway have been reduced during this same period, pedestrian deaths have risen. A number of reasons are cited in addition to distracted driving, including the rise in SUVs and trucks, which are more likely to lead to a fatality during an accident because of their size, more Americans are walking to work and more are out on the street during nighttime hours, when it is harder to see pedestrians.2
Urban environments with numerous distractions and a higher concentration of drivers and pedestrians are the epicenters of the crisis, and local policy makers are looking for a solution. In the meantime, though, there are strategies both drivers and pedestrians can engage to avoid and or reduce pedestrian accidents.
- Evaluate your insurance coverage. Make sure you have adequate auto liability insurance, with the right policy limits. Almost all states require that drivers carry liability insurance to cover personal injuries and/or damage to third parties and their property. Check with your broker to make sure you’ve got adequate limits.
- Only use your cell phone for emergency situations.
- Know when you need to pull over. If you are tired, pull off the road. Limit the level of activity inside the car while driving, or pull over to eat, search for music and call or text family or friends.
- Have the right coverage in place. Pedestrians should consider employee benefit and personal healthcare insurance options, including accident and/or disability (short- and long-term) insurance. Accident insurance can help offset costs associated with an injury. Disability insurance can replace a portion of your income if you are too hurt to work due to an injury.
- Stay alert. Always look before crossing the street. Make sure to make eye contact with drivers so you know they see you before crossing.
- Take extra precautions. If it’s necessary to use a cell phone or other electronic device while walking, take extra notice of your surroundings, including car traffic, bikes, stop lights or even other people not paying attention. Never rely on a car to stop.
- Following traffic patterns and signals diligently. Only cross at designated crosswalks and green lights.
By taking conscious steps to protect yourself and others on the road, you become part of the solution to avoid and/or reduce distracted driving and pedestrian accidents.
If you would like to review your current insurance to make sure you’re adequately covered, contact your HUB broker today.