In SeaTac last week, a pedestrian was struck and killed by a driver on Des Moines Memorial Drive. New station KIRO 7 reported that the 44-year-old man who was killed was putting gas into his car when a passing driver slammed into him, leaving him with fatal injuries. The driver fled the scene of the accident, but his damaged truck was located a short time later by police.
These nighttime pedestrian accidents are all too common in Washington State and the Seattle area. While some can’t be prevented, there are some steps that you can take to lower your chances of being struck by a vehicle at night while you are on foot. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the best pedestrian safety tips for traveling at night.
Consider flashlights or headlamps. Even streets with good street lights may have patches of darkness, and a flashlight or headlamp can make it much easier both to see where you are going, and for approaching vehicles to see you. Consider keeping a spare flashlight or headlamp in your car in case of emergencies.
Use popular routes and routes with sidewalks. You are less likely to get struck by a vehicle if vehicles are on a road where they expect heavy bike and foot traffic. You are also less likely to be involved in a pedestrian accident if you are on a road with a dedicated sidewalk to path. Consider choosing a safer path, even if it makes your journey a bit longer.
Walk facing traffic. If you are on a road without a dedicated sidewalk, walk against traffic so that you are aware of approaching vehicles and can move out of the way if necessary.
Be aware of drug and alcohol use. About 30 percent of pedestrian accidents involve alcohol, and an even greater percentage of nighttime accidents involve drivers or pedestrians who are under the influence. Understand that even if you don’t drive home when you are intoxicated, you may still be in danger if you walk while intoxicated. Consider sleeping it off at a safe place instead of attempting to walk home if you have been drinking.
Wear light-colored or reflective clothing. One of the easiest steps you can take toward safety is simply to make sure you are wearing bright (white, yellow, orange) clothing and/or reflective clothing. If you are running or jogging at night, know that many brands make exercise clothing and footwear that features reflective strips.
Never walk while distracted. You’ve probably heard of distracted driving, but distracted walking is also a danger. Don’t wear headphones while walking at night (you won’t be able to hear oncoming traffic) and don’t look down at your smartphone instead of focusing on where you are going or what dangers might be approaching.
Plan your walking for daylight hours. The bottom line is that the vast majority of pedestrian accidents happen when it is dark outside. If it is at all possible, plan your walking, running, or jogging during daylight hours when cars and trucks will have a much easier time seeing and avoiding you.
Assume drivers don’t see you when crossing. Crossing the street is simply more dangerous at night. Cross at a light intersection with a traffic light when possible, or at an intersection with a dedicated crosswalk. Whenever you do cross, do so with the idea that traffic cannot or does not see you.
After A Pedestrian Accident, Speak With An Experienced Federal Way Injury Attorney
Even when you take all possible precautions, accidents still happen–and in many cases, it is due to the neglect of the driver who hit you. If you or a loved one has been injured in a Washington pedestrian accident, an attorney can help answer your legal questions, build your case, and get you the compensation you deserve. At The Ye Law Firm, we have helped hundreds of injury victims get justice. To schedule a free, private consultation with Chong Ye, call our office today at (253) 946-0577 or fill out our short online contact form.