Pedestrian fatalities due to vehicle crashes have remained steady over the last two years after jumping 11 percent between 2015 and 2016. While other road user fatalities have declined, The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) estimates that nearly 6,000 pedestrians died in traffic collisions (often referred to as accidents) in the United States in 2017.
Moving closer to home, public data published by the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security show that 671 pedestrians have been involved in Tennessee traffic crashes from January through June 2018. This number does not include parking lot or private property crashes. Nearly 11 percent of these traffic crashes were fatal.
In efforts to reduce pedestrian fatalities, cities are using their own tactics. In Cocke County, the Cocke County Sheriff’s Department partnered with the Tennessee Highway Safety Office (THSO) to change driver behavior through education and enforcement. Some cities have or are considering lowering their speed limits. Recently, cities such as Montclair, California and Honolulu, Hawaii passed laws that ban the use of electronic devices while walking in trafficked areas.
As a pedestrian, you cannot control a driver’s actions. However, you can try to keep your family and yourself safe by staying alert and following Tennessee pedestrian laws. You should always take cross-walks and follow pedestrian-control signals when available. If a sidewalk is present, don’t walk on the street. If you have to walk on the street, walk toward oncoming traffic, so you can see what is ahead of you. Sometimes it could be as simple as looking both ways before you cross the street. You can find a full list of these laws on the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) website.
If you or a family member were injured due to the negligence of a motor vehicle driver, we encourage you to reach out to Myers & Ball, LLP. We understand the hardships that wrongfully injured individuals face after an accident, and we’ve dedicated our careers to helping the wrongfully injured recover. We offer free initial consultations, and we continue work on a contingency basis, so we do not get paid attorney fees unless your case is won. You can call us at (423) 248-1023 or contact us online.