According to Transport Canada’s Canadian Motor Vehicle Traffic Collision Statistics, 15% of fatalities in 2012 relate to pedestrian accidents. That totals to 312 wrongful death cases – which is a lot of fatal accidents and taken lives. 14.4% of serious injuries in 2012 belong to pedestrian accidents.
Hitting a pedestrian at a speed higher than 48 km/h will most likely result in serious injuries or even fatality. Even if a driver was able to slow down to 16 km/h, it still can severely disable a pedestrian.
How to avoid getting hit
Please find some useful tips on how to avoid a pedestrian accident below
- Stay on designated walkways for pedestrians.
Sidewalks and crosswalks are dedicated safe zones for pedestrians on the road – please use them where possible. If there is no designated ways available, you should walk in the opposite to traffic direction to see upcoming vehicles.
- Watch for traffic before crossing the street.
You should always look left and right before stepping on the roadway, even in a crosswalk and the signal is green – having the right of way doesn’t prevent anybody from being hit by a car.
- Stay alert when crossing the street.
Look around you and pay attention to what’s going on. It’s wouldn’t be redundant to put your cell phone or another gadget away and pause listening to music so you can focus on staying safe. Hearing honking or yelling can save your life.
- Make yourself visible on the street, including
Wearing reflective clothing or clothing with reflective strips if you are walking at night; keeping away from the driver’s blind spot – he/she might not know you are near the vehicle; making eye contact with the driver if you’re crossing the road in front of a car, especially if it’s in the process of stopping.
- Don’t cross the street if you are not sure
If you are not certain that the driver sees you, or you doubt you are able cross the street in time – avoid crossing and wait.
Following these simple rules will help you on the street. Just stay alert and keep in mind that in spite of the fact that all drivers must yield to pedestrians, there may be thousands of factors preventing them from that. What to do if you failed to avoid an accident and got hit?
How to minimize injuries if you got hit by a car
- Do your best to protect your head first
Fractures and internal bleeding can be serious, brain injuries are usually life-threatening! What to do to protect your head? First of all, avoid having your head anywhere close to the wheels of the car at all cost. Cover it with your arms right away, so that your forehead is in between of your elbows, and your palms cover your nape. Try to position your body so that the main impact doesn’t get close to your head.
- Try to land on the windshield
Windshields in all modern cars (manufactured starting from 1980s) are shatterproof and designed to act like “cushion”, absorbing the energy of the impact and minimizing damage to the body. Of course you should avoid hitting the windshield with your head.
- Try to roll on top of the car
It is indeed dangerous and most likely will cause injuries, but it’s much better than falling on the road and letting the car bump or roll over you. You can attempt go onto the hood and roll over the roof if the speed is not high. Obviously it won’t work for large vehicles.