Auto accidents that involve pedestrians are among the most stressful and life altering of Missouri auto accidents. A pedestrian does not have the benefit of a seat belt or the walls of a car to protect them. They are significantly lighter than any vehicle that might hit them, and they can easily be thrown several yards through the air, landing hard. Pedestrians can also be dragged by a vehicle or thrown into another vehicle. They can even be run over by the tires. There are a vast number of scenarios in which a pedestrian can be seriously harmed in a Missouri auto accident, and it’s important to know how to respond to such incidents, and also how to prevent them from occurring in the first place.
Responding to a Pedestrian Auto Accident in Missouri
When a pedestrian auto accident happens in Missouri, you need to respond appropriately, despite the immense
stress, fear, and trauma that may be involved. Whether you are the driver, the pedestrian, or a bystander/witness, you need to take a deep breath and respond in a way that is helpful rather than harmful. This can be very difficult with the rush of adrenaline that comes along with any accident and the feeling of horror that often comes with a pedestrian accident.
Start by making sure that everyone is safe. This means that they are not in the line of oncoming traffic and they are not being moved unless absolutely necessary. If you are not the pedestrian victim, then you need to assist the pedestrian in any way you can. This includes encouraging them to remain still, if they are conscious, and speaking calmly, letting them know that help is on the way. The person may be confused and may try to move, or they may be panicking from the pain and trauma. Try to help the person to stay calm and still while you contact the police and emergency medical response by dialing 911.
Once medical help has arrived, you can focus on the other details of the situation, such as gathering the contact information of any witnesses and the insurance information of everyone involved. Take photos of the scene of the accident, any damage and injuries, the position of the person, the vehicles, traffic signals, weather conditions, etc. You don’t know what details will be relevant to the case later, so get all of the evidence that you are able to.
Report the incident to your insurance company right away, but avoid discussing the situation with anyone else’s insurance company until you’ve spoken to an attorney. Call the attorneys at the Krause & Kinsman Law Firm to schedule a free consultation. We are here to help you, whether you are the driver, the pedestrian, or the family of someone who has been severely injured or killed in a Missouri pedestrian auto accident.
Preventing Pedestrian Auto Accidents in Missouri
The best way to prevent a pedestrian auto accident in Missouri, or any other auto accident for that matter, is to drive safely and never drive distracted. It is essential to keep an eye out for pedestrians and bicyclists, because failing to notice a pedestrian is a leading cause of such accidents. There are occasions where a pedestrian might come out of nowhere, but this is less likely to happen if you are watching carefully.
Approach all intersections with caution, and do not assume that a pedestrian won’t try to cross because the traffic signals are telling you to go and the pedestrian to stop. Rather, make eye contact with any pedestrians who are waiting at a crosswalk, if you can, and make sure that they aren’t about to cross out of turn. When you are in a school zone or a residential area where children might be playing or walking to school, be extra cautious.
How to Prevent Children from Becoming Victims of Pedestrian Auto Accidents
As a driver, you can be extra cautious when it comes to areas where children might be playing or going to and from school. As a parent or caregiver of a child, you can also take steps to ensure that children do not end up being victims of pedestrian auto accidents.
It is important to understand that children do not think the way that adults do. They are more impulsive and more likely to endanger themselves. They also have more energy than careful reasoning skills. If a ball rolls into the road, they are likely to run after it without giving it a second thought. Teaching children to be careful and aware of their surroundings can help.
It is also wise to ensure that your child is never near a road by themselves until they are old enough and mature enough to make the right decisions when it comes to traffic. If you spend a lot of time with your child as a pedestrian, you can teach him or her the skills and reasoning that a pedestrian needs to have. For example, if you live in walking distance of the child’s school, this is can create a perfect opportunity for you to teach your child these important skills.
Walk with the child to and from school, or make other opportunities to walk places with your child. In this way, you can show your child how to behave as a pedestrian and bring their attention to the hazards of the road. Teach them to wait for the ‘walk’ signal before crossing at intersections that have one. But also teach them, that the ‘walk’ signal is not the only thing to pay attention to. When they see the ‘walk’ signal, they should still look both ways, as they would at any other time when crossing the road, to make sure that no vehicles are ignoring the red light or not paying attention to pedestrians. Your child should be taught that having the ‘right of way’ and permission to go does not guarantee their safety. They need to pay attention to the traffic at all times when walking down the road or crossing.
You can also teach children to stay on the sidewalk, on the correct side of the road, and to never run out into the road after a ball or anything else. Looking both ways before crossing or entering a road is one of the most important things you can teach a child when it comes to being safe as a pedestrian. The more practice and supervision that your child has as a pedestrian, the safer they are likely to be throughout their lives.
Contact the Attorneys at the Krause & Kinsman Law Firm for Help
If you or your child has been the victim of a pedestrian auto accident in Missouri, contact the auto accident attorneys at the Krause & Kinsman Law Firm for advice and representation in recovering compensation for injuries and damages.