We are just about over a harsh winter, and many people are eager to get out and start walking to and from places now that the weather allows for it. But as healthy and invigorating as walking tends to be, there are always risks, particularly near to open traffic. In 2016, pedestrians accounted for 25% of all road casualties in the UK, and this figure is on the rise, especially when compared with other forms of transport. With this in mind, it is important to take steps to increase pedestrian safety, and be mindful of what to do if you are involved in an accident.
Minimising the Risk
Of course, when walking near to a road occupied by other drivers, there is only so much you can do to keep yourself safe as a pedestrian, but there are small yet significant steps you can take to protect yourself. Do your best to keep aware of your surroundings while walking – wearing headphones whilst enjoyable company, can prove to be a risky choice, as it robs you of an important sense – hearing – and makes you less aware of what is going on around you. When walking, maintain as safe a distance from the road itself as possible, and always triple-check before you step out into a road, as you never know where a reckless driver may appear from. If you are supervising children near a road, make sure to keep them in front of you where they will remain visible, and if necessary, hold their hands or make use of toddler reins.
When Accidents Happen
If you are injured by another road user, try to stay calm, and if possible, get out of the road and onto the pavement. In many cases, the driver will naturally rush to assist you, as will anybody in the vicinity who witnessed the accident. However, if the driver happens to flee the scene, do your best to call for help and try to remain calm. Such incidents really get the adrenaline going and can put you into fight-or-flight mode, but try not to get angry or react unwisely. Next, ensure that the police and medical experts are called, and wait for them to arrive.
Then, collect as much information as possible about the incident, and if you are unable to it yourself, ask someone to do so for you. The name, address and contact details of the driver, as well as their licence number, car make, model and registration number are essentials. If anybody on hand is able to take photos, then make sure they do so, and as many as possible. It is crucial that as much evidence of the incident is preserved as possible.
Once you are in a position to do so, consult with a legal expert about how best to proceed. You may well be entitled to compensation, and they can advise you on the best way to deal with the aftermath of your accident, whether you have a valid claim and if so how to claim pedestrian accident compensation.