The Dangers of Walking at Night Alone For Pedestrians
Pedestrians are among the most vulnerable people on the road to getting an injury. And if they just so happen to be walking at night, they become even more vulnerable to catastrophic injuries like traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury or even worse — wrongful death.
This is supported by the statistical data published by Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and National Security Council (NSC). The GHSA noted that pedestrian deaths at night have increased by 41% between 2014 and 2020, increasing from 3,510 to 4,951 respectively.
And this upward trend seems to only persist thereafter. According to the NSC, 74.48% of pedestrian fatalities occur during night time in the year 2021. In addition, 83.8% of pedestrian fatalities occur in urban areas. This means that city pedestrians walking alone at night are even more vulnerable to falling victim to a fatal accident.
Omega Law Group is passionate about nighttime pedestrian safety. Which is why this blog will cover safety tips for pedestrians who have to walk to their specific destinations in the evening. This blog will also cover the common causes of nighttime accidents.
By the end of this blog, hopefully readers will be more aware of the dangers of walking alone at night and why it’s extremely important to be cautious as they trek dangerous roads.
Tips for Nighttime Pedestrian Safety
Aside from the suspicious elements that run rampant in the streets, the dangers of walking late at night also stem from drivers who may just be skirting recklessly down the road.
Although the onus of blame does not necessarily fall onto the pedestrian in the event of an accident, it’s important for their sake that they still exercise a great deal of caution when they’re walking at night alone.
Here are some ways they can stay safe:
1. Wearing Reflective Clothing
A major factor in pedestrian fatalities in the dark is the pedestrians’ general lack of visibility. But if they just so happen to wear reflective clothing in the evening, they end up alleviating this issue. This helps immensely in their effort to be safe at night because when the light beaming from the car grazes upon the reflective material, it bounces back to the driver.
This makes pedestrians appear a lot brighter than they would have had they not worn reflective clothing. For this reason, it would bode well for pedestrians walking late at night to purchase them.
2. Walking With Light
But not a lot of people can afford reflective clothing. Fortunately, that’s not the only precaution pedestrians at night can turn to. In keeping with the need to increase visibility, holding a light source at night may help pedestrians when walking at night.
By having a light source on hand, the pedestrian deliberately lets anyone on the road know that they are present, and that they should therefore tread carefully.
A light source is not hard to come by. Handheld cellular phones usually have that feature built-in for their users to use in times of need. Walking at night certainly calls for this need, considering the dangers.
3. Staying On Well-Lit Pathways
However, if you just so happen to be devoid of reflective clothing or any light source, you need to walk at night strategically as a pedestrian. As you trek to your destination, or maybe even before you walk, determine which paths are well-lit and are safe to use.
This could potentially protect you from drivers who may have a hard time seeing during the night time. Remember, one of your main objectives as a pedestrian is to increase visibility as much as possible and this is the prime way of doing that.
Understandably, that may not always be the case so continue to be aware of your surroundings and look out for any signs of danger.
4. Following Traffic Signals
A recent California law called SB 1107 passed in the beginning of 2023 which legally allowed pedestrians to jaywalk. This Senate Bill is supposed to address the inequities on how punishments and fines are being imposed for jaywalking violations.
This is good news for minority groups disproportionately affected by previous jaywalking laws. However, it is still good practice to follow traffic signals as a pedestrian, especially if they’re walking by themselves during the night time.
Traffic signals are supposed to aid in road safety, and not following them puts pedestrians at risk of catastrophic injuries that may end up being irreversible.
5. Avoiding Distractions
Not a lot of people talk about it, but walking while being distracted also puts pedestrians at risk for accidents. Things like texting or listening to music all while simultaneously walking at night may factor into whether or not they make it safely to their destinations.
For one, they won’t be able to see any incoming traffic if they’re using their phones as they walk. It also pulls their focus away from any lurking sinister elements that may endanger their lives during the night.
And if they listen to music, they also won’t be able to hear the honking of the cars if there’s any, or anticipate the sounds of vehicles. Hearing both may actually spare them from death.
If a pedestrian is walking at night, it’s best if they remain present and ward off anything that may put their lives at risk.
Common Causes of Nighttime Accidents
Pedestrians will need to apply the 5 safety tips above for optimal safety at night. However, hardly are the pedestrians ever at-fault during pedestrian accidents. As a matter of fact, pedestrian fatalities and casualties are usually caused by drivers who partake in risky driving behaviors. Here are some forms of reckless driving that may endanger the lives of pedestrians:
Driving Under The Influence
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that one person dies every 45 minutes due to drunk driving. A part of being vigilant as a pedestrian at night is to look for signs of erratic driving. If a car is swerving in and out of the lane and is driving at an inconsistent speed, chances are the driver behind the wheel may be under the influence.
Other Forms Of Impaired Driving
But alcohol isn’t the only substance that could cause a driver’s impairments. Other drugs, most commonly marijuana, could endanger the lives of pedestrians walking at night too. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, driving simulator tests reveal that telltale signs of a high driver is if they have a slow reaction time or are swerving in and out of the lane.
Distracted driving could lead to various pedestrian fatalities at night, especially if the drivers are texting behind the wheel. This is because texting-and-driving encompasses all three forms of distracted driving: it’s a cognitive, manual, and visual distraction.
Driving While Tired
Drowsy driving is also a fatal cause of pedestrian casualties at night. This is caused by various factors: inadequate sleep, exhaustion from work, or ingesting medications that make the drivers feel sleepy. Drivers need to do their due diligence and make sure that they’re well-rested before going behind the wheel.
Call Omega Law Group
Unfortunately, no matter the safety precautions one is taking, accidents happen. Everyone is vulnerable to getting fatal injuries on the road. For this reason, everyone needs to have the best personal injury law firm on their contacts just in case. They need Omega Law Group.
Omega Law Group attorneys have acquired recognition from their peers in the industry, most notably industry-vetted organizations like SuperLawyers and Best Lawyers for the work that they do for their clients. The firm’s legal team provides a personalized client service to the people that they work with, and endeavors to make the process run as smoothly as possible for them.
The founding partners of the firm have been recognized by prestigious publications like the Los Angeles Business Journal as one of the “Most Admired Law Firms” to work for. In addition, Omega has also been featured in the Business Journal for their tech-forward approach to the case’s discovery processes. This shows how invested they are in looking for different avenues to help their clients obtain the justice and compensation that they deserve.
But the firm grounds itself by providing prospective clients of all backgrounds an opportunity to acquire their elite and award-winning legal services. They operate on a contingency-fee basis to provide equitable services to clients who are of meager financial services. This means that clients don’t have to pay upfront for their legal fees.
Their passion to truly help those who need it most, in addition to their top-notch approach to litigation and negotiation, Omega Law Group is the right firm to represent your pedestrian accident case.
Schedule a free consultation now with our elite legal team to get started!