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Pedestrians are Especially Vulnerable in Hit-and-Run Crashes

The Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) reports that in 2010, there were 4,280 pedestrian fatalities and an additional 70,000 people were injured in traffic accidents. That’s about one pedestrian killed every two hours and one pedestrian injured every eight minutes.

According to the study, Protecting Pedestrians and Bicyclists, posted on the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety website, Allan F. Williams writes:

“Pedestrians and bicyclists are commonly referred to as ‘vulnerable road users,’ because in collisions with motor vehicles the lack of a protective structure and differences in mass heighten their injury susceptibility. Protecting them is a challenge, because road systems typically have been built for motor vehicles, with little attention to those on foot or on bicycles who may wish to travel on or alongside roads, or cross them, or change direction at intersections.”

With the rash of tragic pedestrian and hit-and-run crashes lately in Denver, it seems timely that it we review some basic safety tips that can help pedestrians stay safer while navigating the streets. While some accidents involving pedestrians are unavoidable, for example when a drunk driver or distracted driver is involved, there are some safety precautions recommended by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that pedestrians can take to improve their odds.

  • Be sure to cross the street at a designated crosswalk.
  • While you are most safe while walking on a sidewalk, if you must walk in the street, walk facing traffic.
  • Pay attention at intersections. While pedestrians may have the right of way, drivers who may be distracted or unaware of pedestrians, may fail to yield while turning.
  • Make yourself more visible at night by wearing reflective clothes and carrying a flashlight.

Additional advice from Safe Kids, Inc. includes these tips for children:

  • Children under 10 should not be allowed to cross the street alone. Adult supervision is advised until your children have learned good traffic sense and skills.
  • Children should take the most direct routes with the fewest streets to cross.
  • Teach your children to never run into the street to chase a ball, toy, pet or for any other reason.
  • Children should be taught to cross at least 10 feet in front of a school bus and never cross the street behind the bus.
  • While waiting for the school bus or for their parents, children should wait in the school bus loading or unloading zone on the same side of the street.

By enacting House Bill 1084 in June of 2012, Colorado lawmakers made it tougher on hit-and-run drivers by increasing the penalties for leaving the scene of a crash. However, these apalling crashes still occur far too often throughout Denver and the State of Colorado. If you or a loved one has been a victim of a pedestrian or hit-and-run crash, contact the experienced and compassionate attorneys at The Bendinelli Law Firm. We’ll help you navigate the complex legal maze to get the compensation you deserve so you and your family can focus on healing.