Dangers of Crossing the Road

What are the chances you will get hit by a car crossing the road? Not high, but they are there.

Needless to say, pedestrian and cyclist accidents are rare but not unheard of. The Arizona Department of Transportation reports fewer than 3 percent of the 139,265 crashes in 2005 involved pedestrians or cyclists. These accidents are potentially extremely dangerous.

Of the 1,581 pedestrian accidents, 91 percent resulted in injury and 7 percent resulted in property damage only.  One hundred sixty-four pedestrians died. Those statistics have been fairly stable since 2000, and the leading cause of death by far has been crossing the road. Fully 99 of the 164 pedestrian deaths involved people simply trying to get to the other side, and 56 percent of injuries shared the same cause.

These numbers illuminate, in part, why authorities are so strict about jaywalking laws in high-traffic areas like downtown Tempe, and your childhood mantra of “Look both ways” certainly holds true.

Cyclist accidents are less likely to be fatal, though slightly more commonly occurring. In 2005, 35 cyclists died, and 88 percent of cyclists were injured. Just over 13 percent of the 2,013 cyclist accidents recorded resulted in property damage only. Like pedestrian accident statistics, the fatality and injury numbers for cyclist accidents dipped a bit in 2002 and 2003 and have remained fairly stable since 2000 – except for cyclist fatalities. Deaths increased from 29 in 2000 to 35 in 2005.

It is important to remember, as a driver, that you share the roads. Cyclists are legally permitted to ride with traffic, given they use specific signals for turning (more details at azbikeclub.com), and for your protection if not for theirs, defensive driving is of paramount importance.

As a pedestrian or cyclist…be careful crossing the road. And should you become involved in an accident, make sure you contact Oracle Law Group. Let us help you. You deserve it.

This post was intended to provide general information only and is not intended as specific legal advice. You should not rely upon this information alone, but should consult legal counsel regarding the application of the laws and regulations discussed and as applied to your specific case or circumstance