Run, Forrest, Run!

This blog is for runners, walkers, bicyclists and those who drive a car.  So, I guess you could say it is for pretty much everyone!

Spring is here, and I am loving every minute of it!  But the beautiful weather also means that there are increased numbers of pedestrians (runners, walkers and bicyclists included) on the road.  This probably includes many of you reading this blog.  It is my hope that pedestrians and drivers alike will use caution to prevent accidents from occurring.  With that being said, I thought I would focus this blog on the subject of personal injuries caused by collisions between pedestrians and automobiles.

1.  Pedestrians always have the right of way.  Everybody knows this.  It just means drivers must always yield to the pedestrian.  This is true even if the pedestrian is being careless, and even if the pedestrian is in the way of the driver.

2.  Drivers must use reasonable caution.  A driver who strikes a pedestrian is liable to that pedestrian for injuries that occur, if the driver was not using reasonable caution.  A driver who sees a pedestrian should always slow down and assume the possibility that the pedestrian could end up in the path of his/her vehicle.  A driver who approaches a bicyclist or other pedestrian in his/her lane should slow down when passing, and leave plenty of space between his/her car and  the pedestrian.  If passing requires moving into the opposite lane of travel, the driver must be sure that there are no cars approaching.  If approaching a hill or curve, the driver must wait to pass until after he/she can see clearly ahead.

3.  Pedestrians must use reasonable caution.  If a driver strikes a pedestrian, and the accident was not caused in any way by the carelessness of the driver, the driver will not be liable.  It is important for pedestrians to be extra vigilant near roadways, and follow all traffic rules.  Pedestrians should  be especially careful and alert for situations in which he/she may not be visible to approaching vehicles, such as around curves and hills, and when it is dark.

4.  Common sense tips for pedestrians.  Pedestrians should use extra caution to avoid becoming a victim.  Fact is, money a pedestrian obtains from the insurance company of a careless driver could never make up for a devastating injury.  If you are a pedestrian assume that: 1) drivers will not see you and 2) you will encounter an unsafe driver.  Do everything possible to make yourself visible, especially at night.  I recommend against wearing headphones if you are around a lot of traffic  because you will not be able to hear what is happening around you.  If you choose to wear headphones, please keep an extra close watch on your surroundings.  Finally.  Do I even need to say this?  Bicyclists should always wear a quality helmet.

I hope everyone is enjoying spring as much as I am, and I wish you happy and safe walking, running and biking!