With the temperatures heating up in Knoxville, many people are taking to the roads by foot, bicycle and vehicle. The increase in road activity means there is a higher risk of car accidents and injuries for everyone, especially pedestrians. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute, motor vehicle accidents were the cause of 4,884 pedestrian deaths in 2014. Many more people suffered minor and catastrophic injuries. 

Motorists who know about the common causes of accidents involving pedestrians can adjust their driving behaviors to prevent them. 

Intersections and left-hand turns 

Intersections are particularly dangerous for pedestrians. Drivers sit and wait on traffic lights to give them permission to go, and they look at different corners of the intersections for other vehicles. Some drivers speed through intersections not realizing that they are pedestrians on the roads. Many drivers also fail to keep an eye out for any pedestrians who are crossing at intersections as they make left-hand turns. Pedestrians are three times less likely to be hit by vehicles making right turns than they are by cars making left-hand turns, states TrafficSafetyStore.com. 

Accidents like these are avoidable if pedestrians check all sides of intersections before and during their crossings. Drivers should carefully check for people on the roads before and while they are proceeding through intersections and making turns. 

Driver and pedestrian distractions 

Motorists are not the only ones who suffer when there are distractions on the roads. Pedestrians who are too caught up in their smartphones cannot adequately survey their surroundings to make sure that there is no oncoming traffic that could crash into them while they are crossing the streets. They are also unable to remove themselves from harm’s way if they were to see a vehicle approaching their position on the streets. 

Motorists who use their cellphones, operate their vehicles infotainment centers and give more attention to their passengers instead of the roads cannot see pedestrians. They cannot react fast enough to avoid hitting and injuring them with their vehicles. 

Pedestrians involved motor vehicle accidents are completely avoidable. Pedestrians should practice safety at all times when they are near streets and traffic. They should use the crosswalks, pay attention to the traffic lights and make themselves aware of all nearby vehicles. Motorists should take their responsibility to drive safely seriously to make the roads safer and accident-free.