Most of us set out on foot or two wheels because we are interested in promoting good health. This is often enjoyed in groups too. And in a large city you may be a pedestrian or a bicyclist on your commute each day back and forth. Because both activities promote good cardiovascular health, help with bone and muscle growth, and burn formidable amounts of calories, this activity should be positive. Unfortunately, they can also be dangerous, resulting in serious physical harm like concussions and brain injuries, paralysis, broken limbs, and more.
You may be surprised to find that Texas is currently ranked third in pedestrian traffic for fatalities. Bicyclists are in danger too, with injuries and fatalities on the rise. And while this is not a growing problem isolated just to Texas or Houston, extreme diligence and defensiveness while walking or riding on the bike should be practiced. This is of course even more serious for children.
As traffic incidents occur—and especially for those who are more vulnerable while traveling, government experts and other analysts have been examining the issues. Distracted driving tops the list for injuries and deaths, unfortunately, even with a ban on texting and driving. The other classic culprits are still serious infractions like driving under the influence whether affected by alcohol or drugs, speeding, ignoring traffic signs, signals, and rules.
Along with all these issues that are preventable in so many cases, however, is the topic of infrastructure. While city planners and infrastructure specialists are expected to know what they are doing, in many cases the area where you are walking, or biking may not be the perfect conditions for travel. Crosswalks may not be situated properly, there could be extremely narrow traffic lanes, and areas may not be properly illuminated either.
Whether you are a pedestrian or bicyclist, here are a few basic safety tips to follow:
- Remember that one of the biggest issues with safety in traffic is that motorists may have trouble ‘seeing’ you unless you are in another car. Wear bright colors, have a bright helmet if you are riding a bike, and wear neon or reflectors whether walking or biking at night. Visibility is difficult during the day, causing many accidents, making the issue exponentially worse at night.
- Be extremely aware and cautious at intersections, as these are dangerous in all cases but especially for travelers other than motorists. Again, visibility is an issue, and especially with left-hand turns. Make eye contact with motorists before walking or riding.
- Follow traffic rules – no matter your mode of travel, you are also expected to adhere to laws, signs, and signals.
If you have been injured in an accident due to the negligence of others, this is not the time to go it alone! Please call the law offices of Andrew ‘Pike’ Piekalkiewicz, PLLC as soon as possible at (713) 748-7453 or visit Attorney Sgt Pike for a no obligation case review.