Pedestrian-related accidents seem to the on the rise in many cities across the U.S. and have become a common occurrence in New Mexico as well. In 2014, New Mexico was ranked as the number one state for pedestrian deaths, according to the Journal North after it was reported that 74 pedestrians were killed during that year. Just under New Mexico in the number two spot was Florida.
In 2016, the New Mexico Department of Transportation reported that 625 pedestrians were involved in crashes of which 129 involved alcohol. During that same year, 77 pedestrian fatalities were also recorded. The fact is, when a driver decides to get behind the wheel drunk or drugged, they increase the chances of engaging in an accident with a pedestrian tremendously. Unfortunately, KOB 4 recently reported that a driver in Albuquerque, NM has been arrested after hitting and killing a pedestrian he didn’t see. The incident occurred on October 20th at 1st and Central and police believe the driver was under the influence of drugs at the time of the accident.
After police were able to track the driver down at an Express Inn following the accident, he told officials that he did not know that he had hit a person, rather, he thought he hit construction equipment which is why he didn’t stop at the scene. Although the source has not yet disclosed what charges the motorist is facing, they are likely to carry some serious penalties given the fact that the incident resulted in a death.
Pedestrian Safety Tips All Individuals Should be Aware of and Consider Implementing
Now, because pedestrian-related accidents continue to occur as more and more drivers operate their vehicles distracted and while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, it is imperative that if you or someone you know gets around on foot that you implement the following safety tips
- Always wear bright colored clothing to help make yourself more noticeable to the drivers traveling around you.
- Carry a flashlight when walking at night. With daylight savings coming to an end in just a few days, you should consider having a flashlight on hand when walking during the early evening hours as it will soon be getting darker earlier. As you may already know, most pedestrian-related accidents occur when it is dark outside.
- Never assume a vehicle is going to stop for you. Although it would be courteous, a majority of motorists would choose to continue driving rather than stopping for a pedestrian who is trying to make it across the roadway. Therefore, before crossing, be sure you make eye contact with all drivers to ensure they see you and aren’t glancing down at their cell phone.
- Don’t rely on pedestrian signals. Although these signals are expected to help pedestrians cross the roadway, vehicles are still permitted to make turns despite the white cross sign so don’t walk in front of a vehicle if the driver fails to acknowledge that you are attempting to cross.
- Don’t wear headphones when out walking and refrain from using your cell phone as both make it much more unsafe for you.
[Source: Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center website].
To read more pedestrian safety tips you and your loved ones can implement, visit the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center website.
If you are a pedestrian who was hit in Albuquerque, NM or you know someone who has suffered an injury in a pedestrian-related accident, contact Albuquerque personal injury attorney Brian K. Branch. You may be entitled to collect compensation for various damages including pain and suffering, loss of consortium, medical expenses, etc. and our office would be more than happy to take the time to assess your case and determine how much you are entitled to receive.