Operating a motor vehicle is a major responsibility. Although many of us don’t actively think about this when we get behind the wheel, the fact remains that when you are driving, you are in control of a machine that has the potential to cause serious harm or even claim a life.
You need to take all necessary precautions to avoid accidents. Keep in mind, that other motorists are not the only ones who may be harmed if you are negligent when driving. There is also the possibility that you may harm a pedestrian if you make careless decisions.
This isn’t meant to worry you. Odds are you are a responsible individual who strives to ensure you don’t harm anyone when you’re behind the wheel. As such, you might want to familiarize yourself with the various ways you can minimize your chances of accidentally causing a pedestrian accident. Tips to keep in mind include the following:
Adjust Your Speed
You already know it’s important to obey the posted speed limit. However, you might also want to adjust your speed depending on the environment in which you may be driving.
When you find yourself in pedestrian areas, particularly at times when more people are likely to be out (such as when the school day or workday ends), slow down. Even if you’re a cautious driver, when there are many pedestrians in a given area, it’s possible some will run out into the street carelessly. You need to give yourself time to stop and avoid an accident if this occurs.
Check for Eye Contact
It’s not always clear if a pedestrian plans on crossing the street or if they are going to let you proceed. If you suspect a pedestrian may be planning to cross the street, slow down when approaching them, and check for eye contact to get a sense of what their plans are. Eye contact allows for a silent but effective means of communication between motorists and pedestrians.
Don’t Immediately Pass Stopped Vehicles
If a vehicle in front of you stops for no apparent reason, don’t give in to the temptation to simply pass it right away. It’s possible they have stopped because they are allowing a pedestrian to cross the street and you simply are not able to see this pedestrian from your vantage point. Take your time to determine why the vehicle has stopped before passing.
Some pedestrians, such as elderly people, may take longer to cross the street than others. Be patient and allow them to cross when they are attempting to do so.
Other types of pedestrians might also be less cautious than most. For example, if you see a group of young children playing around with each other on the sidewalk, proceed with caution. Kids may sometimes jump out into the street without thinking of the potential consequences.
That said, even if you’re careful, other drivers may not be. If you’re ever injured in a pedestrian accident resulting from someone else’s negligence, a California pedestrian accident attorney at the Law Offices of J. Jeffrey Herman will help you seek compensation for your medical bills and other such losses. Learn more about what we can do for you by contacting us online or calling us at 805-983-2344 today.
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