As we move closer to winter, the days continue to get shorter. Cooler weather is a reminder that winter is on its way. Yet, school kids are still outside during the early morning and afternoon hours. Commuters often walk significant distances to get to and from work. The cool, brisk weather is also a chilling omen reminding us that days are getting shorter.
Anytime of the year, it is important for joggers and walkers to remain aware of their surroundings when traveling near a roadway or busy street. Earlier sunsets and later sunrises can increase the risk of injury for pedestrians in the Detroit area.
Unfortunately, the majority of pedestrian injuries occur when it is dark, near dusk or near dawn, when lighting makes it more difficult for motorists to see a pedestrian. With fewer hours of daylight in the fall, this time of year typically becomes more dangerous for people on bicycles, walking, plating outside or jogging near a traffic lane.
Distractions Can Compound Poor Visibility In The Fall
In addition to the longer hours of darkness during the fall season, some people may be more distracted as we approach the holidays and the end of the year. Concerns of workers who maybe thinking about meeting year-end goals can easily distract them as they drive or walk. Similarly, holiday planning and trying how to figure out where the family will gather this year can create additional stress.
Staying safe as a pedestrian and paying attention to the surroundings as a driver are important considerations to keep our roads, sidewalks and crosswalks safe. Unfortunately, when a car or truck strikes a person, injuries can be catastrophic or fatal.
Michigan Ranks In The Top Ten For Fatal Pedestrian Accidents
Statistics can often be twisted in many directions. Michigan is ranked as the 18th most dangerous state in the country for pedestrians -- per capita -- according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. However, we are in the top ten when it comes to raw numbers, ranking ninth in the nation for fatal pedestrian accidents.
The failure to yield and distractions are frequently significant contributing factors to a pedestrian accident, according to the NHTSA. In Michigan, a pedestrian may be entitled to personal injury compensation from the driver's insurance company after an accident -- even if the pedestrian does not have insurance, or own a vehicle.