Category: Pedestrian Accidents – NV

Many Cities, Schools Embracing "Look Up, Look Out" Campaigns

Many Cities, Schools Embracing “Look Up, Look Out” Campaigns

With distracted driving more prominent than ever before, communities are doing what they can to keep their neighborhood safe. Especially with schools in session and students commuting to and from class, many educational institutions prioritize the safety of young minds

That is why schools all over the country are embracing the “Look Up, Look Out” campaign. 

This initiative aims to raise awareness of distracted driving and encourage responsible navigation on and around campuses.

What Is The “Look Up, Look Out” Campaign?

With over 6,200 pedestrian fatalities from traffic-related incidents in 2018, distracted driving continues to threaten our community members’ safety and well-being. Schools are doing everything they can to educate families about safe driving practices, especially as more students walk to and from school. Despite clear crosswalks and traffic signals that aim to protect the safety of both pedestrians and bicyclists, parents and their children are still at risk when navigating on foot.

The “Look Up, Look Out” campaign serves as a reminder for both drivers and pedestrians to put safety above all else. It aspires to bring further attention to the hazard of distracted driving and offer tools for pedestrians to remain safe during high-traffic times of the day. 

This campaign hopes to reach both the drivers behind the wheel and reinforce to pedestrians the importance of staying alert while crossing the street. Although smartphones can be a helpful tool for navigation, they pull attention away from where it needs to be: the road.

How Can I Protect Myself As A Pedestrian?

There are several ways to ensure your safety while navigating as a pedestrian: 

Follow the rules of the road

Just because you are a pedestrian and have the legal right-of-way does not mean that you do not have to adhere to certain expectations of responsibility. Use crosswalks where they are accessible and wait for the walk signal to indicate when it is safest to cross.

Use sidewalks when possible

Sidewalks are the safest place for pedestrians as there is often a greater distance between you and any moving vehicles. If sidewalks are not available, it is safest to walk as far from the road as possible in the opposite direction as traffic. That is, make sure you can see that the driver coming towards you recognizes your presence.

Limit distractions

Even though you may not be behind the wheel, it can be dangerous to navigate while distracted. Without your eyes on the sidewalk or road, it is possible to veer into traffic, step into a pothole, or fail to recognize an oncoming distracted driver.

 It is best to limit any distractions, even as a pedestrian, and keep your eyes on the road at all times. Additionally, do not navigate while under the influence or otherwise intoxicated as it may impair your depth-perception and abilities to react swiftly.

Assume drivers cannot see you

Rather than anticipate that all drivers will give you the right-of-way, it is best to assume that you are not visible from behind the wheel. If a crosswalk or an otherwise accessible intersection is not available to cross a major road, be sure to leave enough of a gap in between vehicles to make it across safely. 

Additionally, try to prioritize places of crossing that have better lighting and the most strategic view of traffic. It is also a good idea to wear reflective or otherwise noticeable clothing, especially at night.

It is critical that you talk with your family about how to stay safe on the road as a pedestrian and reiterate that safety is the responsibility of both drivers and local foot traffic.

What If I Am Injured As A Pedestrian?

If you or someone you know is injured in a traffic accident, contact a personal injury lawyer to determine whether you may be entitled to compensation, including medical assistance. Work with the police to file a report detailing the incident’s critical elements, including notating any apparent distractions. Seek medical attention for any injuries, and consult with your personal injury lawyer to address any concerns regarding further legal action.

Understanding Pedestrian Accidents In Nevada

About one in four of the traffic fatalities in the Silver State are pedestrians, and that figure is well above the national average. Many, if not most, of these fatalities occur outside crosswalks in non-urban areas during non-daylight hours (between dusk and dawn), and most victims are either young children or older adults.

These facts mean a lot. Many vehicles slow down around intersections, especially if traffic is heavy, and speed up in non-intersections, especially if traffic is light or moderate.

Further, as a rule of thumb, visibility is about 300 times greater during daylight hours. And, since many non-crosswalk areas are unlit, the difference may be even greater when it comes to pedestrian accidents. Lack of visibility also explains why so many young children are victims, because it is simply harder for motorists to see them, especially if they are not really looking for pedestrians in the first place.

Injuries in Pedestrian Accidents

In collisions, several layers of glass, plastic, and steel, not to mention multiple restraint layers, protect vehicle occupants. However, in similar situations, pedestrians are completely exposed to the risk of injury. Some common wounds include:

Head Injuries: With no seat belts or airbags to hold them in place, nearly all pedestrians are launched into the air in these cases. The jarring motion when they land, even if they do not land on their heads, often causes permanent brain injuries.
Broken Bones: Fall-induced fractures in young people often heal quickly with little medical intervention. In almost all other cases, and for almost all other victims, surgeons must use metal screws, pins, or plates to set the bone.

After several weeks or months of near-total immobilization, most victims require weeks or months of expensive and painful physical therapy to regain a minimal amount of lost function.

Blood Loss: Because of the serious nature of the injuries, and because many of these incidents occur relatively far from first responders and hospitals, the victims often lose vast amounts of blood before they can be properly stabilized, and the weakened state of their bodies makes their other injuries even worse.

All these injuries often mean huge medical bills and significant time away from work, so victims are entitled to compensation for these economic damages. There are intangible wounds as well, such as loss of enjoyment in life and pain and suffering damages as well.

Fault and Liability in Pedestrian Accidents

Speed is a factor in about a third of fatal car crashes. First, excessive velocity greatly increases stopping distance, which is thinking distance (reaction time) plus braking distance (amount of time required to stop safely). At 20mph, stopping distance is about three car lengths for most passenger vehicles. At 40mph, stopping distance triples to nine car lengths, or even more in some cases. In practical terms, if a pedestrian is in the path of a slow moving car, for whatever reason, the motorist can nearly always avoid the crash by slowing down, stopping, or changing lanes. However, if a pedestrian is in the path of a fast moving car, a collision is basically inevitable.

Speed-induced crashes also have much more force, because of Newton’s Second Physical Law. That is why, as a rule of thumb, pedestrian accidents at under 20mph are typically survivable and often do not even cause serious injuries, and collisions at greater than 40mph are nearly always fatal.

Next, alcohol is a factor in about a third of vehicle crash fatalities. After only one drink, most people are unable to make good judgements because alcohol is a depressant and have problems controlling their motor skills because alcohol is a tranquilizer. After another drink or two, these symptoms significantly worsen and joined by blurred vision because of bloodshot eyes; most people are essentially comatose if they consume much more alcohol.

In terms of pedestrian accidents, the slowed reactions increase stopping distance, the impaired vision makes it more difficult to see pedestrians, and the impaired motor skills make it more difficult for drivers to control their vehicles in emergencies.

Distracted driving causes many other fatal and serious injury crashes. Cellphones garner considerable attention in this area, because these devices combine all three types of distracted driving:

Visual: People who are looking at screens are not watching the road. Moreover, at highway speeds, a vehicle can travel the length of a football field in the time it takes to send a text message.
Manual: In addition to using cellphones for communication or web-surfing, people also take their hands off the wheel to adjust the radio or air conditioner.
Cognitive: Both live and virtual conversations require concentration, so drivers take their minds off driving when they talk on cellphones, send messages, post on social media, or talk to passengers.

Hands-free devices, whether they are built into the vehicle or hand-held devices in speaker mode, are not much safer than hand-held devices, and because they give drivers a false sense of security, they may even be more dangerous.