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The Overlooked Avenue Of Pedestrian Safety

Today’s topic written by Aaron Crane, an experienced personal injury and car accident attorney at Cantor Crane, deals with pedestrian safety. Paying attention to pedestrian safety is essential because everyone is a pedestrian at one point. The word comes from the Latin ped, which means foot. Obviously, this makes sense because a pedestrian is one who walks on foot—amidst traffic.

The Word “Pedestrian” does not only mean “mundane” or “mediocre”
The safety of people traveling on foot is hugely important, but often taken for granted. This is undoubtedly because every person will inevitably live the role of a pedestrian at one point in time or another. The word “pedestrian” itself is derived from the Latin word “Ped” which literally means “foot.” The correlation of the etymology is clear because a pedestrian is one who walks on foot – and in today’s fast paced society, the title typically implies that the individual is treading amongst automobile traffic.

So what does it truly mean to be a good Pedestrian?

On average, one plays the role of a pedestrian while making a trip to the store, or while having a nice stroll to the nearest coffee house. The title takes on an even more poignant meaning when a child or teenager is involved in the process. Parents concerned with the safety and well-being of their child will almost certainly walk hand in hand with their children, especially when crossing the street. These practices have become so routine to us that we often fail to realize: we are immensely endangered every time we step into the street such that we may cross it. Indeed, motorists are prone to exercising careless behavior, due mainly to our technologically advanced age and the distractions that come along with it. Pedestrians, too, can certainly be a shade too trusting of their fellow citizens. It is on the unfortunate occasion in which a pedestrian is injured by one of their careless automobile-bound peers that a car accident attorney may be necessary to achieve veritable justice.

Just how bad is the situation anyway?

According to the United States Center for Disease Control, 4,743 pedestrians were killed in 2012 from automobile accidents alone. The same year, another 76,000 were injured. It’s a little known yet disturbing fact that accidental pedestrian injuries are one of the primary causes of injury-related fatalities in the United States when considering the demographic of children between ages 5 and 19. In 2012, more than one in every five children between the ages of 5 and 15 who were killed in traffic crashes were pedestrians. Perhaps not so shockingly, teenagers who are pedestrians, are at the greatest risk of being injured by an automobile. Statistics state that the teenage demographic suffer fatality as pedestrians at twice the rate of their younger counterparts.

This could, without a shadow of a doubt, be due to the fact that teenagers are consumed with themselves first. Most teens occupy a world existing only within their smart phone, and thus, are more inattentive to the real, physical world that constantly surrounds them. On the flip side of the coin, pedestrians aged 65 and older accounted for 20% of all pedestrian deaths and an estimated 9% of all pedestrian casualties in 2012. Last but far from least, it comes as no shock that literally 48% of car accidents involving a pedestrian fatality were caused by a driver or a pedestrian who was under the influence of alcohol. These facts only highlight the importance of a car accident attorney in this day and age.

Talk to your kids about pedestrian safety today

When it comes to educating your children about pedestrian safety, compromise should never be an option. Tell your teens that it is never okay to cross the street while paying attention to their smart phone. For your younger, simpler children who have not yet been introduced to the vast universe of digital media, make sure you alert them that they should only cross at a cross walk and pay full attention when doing so. It’s always good advice to look both ways a couple of times before crossing. Younger children between the ages of 5-7 should NEVER cross the street unless accompanied by an adult.

Generally, such a child’s depth perception and motor skill is underdeveloped at this point in their life. To you, it may seem like common sense to avoid a 2,000 pound object hurtling your direction at 60 miles per hour or more. However, the imagination of a young mind is constantly throwing caution to the wind.

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About the Author

The Law Offices of Ira M. Perlman and Robert D. Rosen have over 30 years of New York personal injury lawyer experience. We are here to help.