While there may be some dispute about the ideal number of steps per day, most medical professionals agree that walking is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Taking small trips around your neighborhood on foot, walking your dog after work every night or walking to work on days when the weather is good are all ways to improve your health.
As an added benefit, walking places helps you keep your costs lower, as you don’t have to pay the typical cost per mile to drive. Unfortunately, especially if you will walk near where vehicles travel, being a pedestrian comes with significant risk. Pedestrians can get hurt or killed by those in motor vehicles.
Pedestrians get hurt when drivers make mistakes
Although pedestrians may feel like they can get out of the way quickly when the driver does something dangerous, that isn’t always the case. All too often, pedestrians play little role in the crashes that leave them injured or dead.
The lack of contribution makes the recent spike in pedestrian crashes that much more alarming. Recent years have seen double-digit increases in the number of pedestrian fatalities. In 2020 there were 6,721 reported pedestrian deaths caused by crashes. That was a 21% increase when compared with the number of pedestrian deaths in 2019, and early data from 2021 doesn’t make the year look much better.
What protects pedestrians after crashes involving vehicles?
A pedestrian hit by a distracted driver or someone running a red light will have some of the same rights as those involved in motor vehicle collisions. They can make a claim against the insurance carried by the driver at fault for the collision.
If the pedestrian has a policy because they have a vehicle, their underinsured motorist protection, uninsured motorist protection and personal injury protection or med pay coverage could help protect them after a crash. Pedestrians who don’t have car insurance policies of their own are completely dependent on the coverage of the other driver to protect them after a collision. The only other way to pay their bills will involve taking the at-fault driver to civil court.
Knowing your risk and your rights will help you pursue justice when an irresponsible driver hurts you or someone you love in a pedestrian crash.