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Tips to Avoid Pedestrian and Car Accidents from The Sam Bernstein Law Firm

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With Daylight Savings Time ending recently, drivers may have a difficult time seeing pedestrians as dusk sets in earlier than usual. Adjusting to less light earlier in the evening may take more time with driving reaction time as well as adaptation to sleep schedules. As a result, more pedestrian traffic incidents leading to death or injury may occur.

According to the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration, 25 percent of the 4,902 pedestrian deaths last year occurred between 4 p.m. - 8 p.m., while another 13 percent occurred 4 a.m. - 8 a.m. Nearly 59,000 pedestrians were injured in 2009 from a traffic-related incident.

The most effective method to avoid motor vehicle accident death or injury due to low visibility includes prevention. The NTHSA advises drivers use the following tips to ensure traffic safety:
  • Slow down to allow for a greater reaction time and to see pedestrians. It takes more time to see a pedestrian in the dark than during daylight hours.
  • Pedestrians may not be able to see or hear your vehicle due to headphones, hats, earmuffs or road obstructions, such as trees. Take caution and allow time for their crossing.
  • As the weather turns cool, make sure your windshield is defrosted and defogged before driving. Check that your washer fluid is properly filled for the upcoming winter season. Ensure your mirrors are also clear of any frost or debris.

Pedestrians should also take precautions to stay safe at night. These tips will help anyone traveling after daylight:
  • Attach reflective tape to your belongings, such as your coat, backpack, purses and other belongings. Or, carry a flashlight as you walk. This will make you more visible to drivers.
  • Check both ways before crossing, even with an appropriate traffic signal. Drivers may not be paying attention to the sidewalks at night.
  • Cross at crosswalks and walk on sidewalks whenever possible. If a sidewalk isn't available, walk facing traffic to make sure drivers see you.

A serious motor vehicle accident involving a pedestrian can significantly change the pedestrian accident victim's life -- temporarily or even permanently. The consequences of serious injury can result in significant wage loss, medical bills and other repercussions.

If you or a loved one was seriously injured in a Michigan pedestrian accident, talk with an experienced Michigan pedestrian accident lawyer to determine your rights.
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