Pedestrians are a common sight on Connecticut roads. Some people walk to work or to school every day because they don’t own a car or don’t want to drive one. Other people might walk to social engagements and local businesses as a way to get some exercise and fresh air.

Walking instead of driving might seem like an economical, environmentally-friendly and safe decision. After all, motor vehicles come with a lot of risk. However, walking instead of driving doesn’t allow you to just avoid that risk. Instead, it leaves you at the mercy of people driving near you, as you could wind up in a pedestrian crash.

Pedestrian crash rates are at a 30-year high

While traffic collisions in general are on the decline, pedestrian accidents are on the rise. With bigger vehicles and more distracted drivers on the roads, it has never been more dangerous to walk close to cars as it is right now.

In fact, in 2018, the most recent year with analyses of state-to-state statistics, pedestrian deaths were the highest they had been since 1990, and 2019 was likely a worse year than 2018. There is no reason to suspect that this trend will reverse in the near future unless contributing factors also change.

Can you avoid pedestrian accidents?

There are a few things you can do to keep yourself safer when walking. Wearing bright colors, carrying a flashlight or wearing reflective gear, especially during the night and transitional times, like dusk, can make you more visible to drivers. Follow the rules of the road, like walking on sidewalks when possible. If there aren’t sidewalks, you should walk on the far left side of the road and face oncoming traffic. When possible, use a crosswalk or cross at intersections.

Unfortunately, many of these crashes are caused by people in vehicles not paying attention, not mistakes on the part of pedestrians. When motor vehicles strike pedestrians, the drivers may suffer no injury whatsoever, while the pedestrian could suffer permanently debilitating injuries or even die because of the crash.

If you got hurt by an unsafe driver or if you lost a loved one in a pedestrian collision, you may have the right to bring legal action against the driver whose irresponsible behavior directly contributed to the crash that left you injured or cost the life of your loved one.