When you are walking, you feel in control of the situation and know your path. However, if a vehicle hops a curb, swerves suddenly or speeds through an intersection, you may not be able to react quickly enough. This can result in serious injuries, and in some cases, fatalities.
This type of reckless driving is common for drunk drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 14 percent of pedestrian fatalities were caused by drunk driving in 2014. Additionally, in 48 percent of fatal pedestrian accidents, either the driver or the pedestrian had consumed alcohol.
Tips to avoid serious injury while walking
You can take steps to protect yourself from drunk drivers while walking on New Jersey roads. This includes:
- Stay alert: Keep an eye on traffic as you walk. Also, keep the volume low on your headphones so you can hear a speeding car or screeching wheels.
- Stick to crosswalks: Wherever possible, use the crosswalks and obey traffic signals.
- Get a ride after drinking: Six percent of fatal pedestrian accidents involved alcohol use by both the driver and the pedestrian.
- Be visible: Walking in well-lit areas, and try to avoid wearing dark colors while walking at night.
If you are hit by a drunk driver
Your first step after being hit by another vehicle should be to call the police. An officer can help ensure you get the help and medical attention you need. They can also take action against the drunk driver, creating a criminal record that can help you with your case.
Next, speak with an attorney about your rights. A lawyer with experience handling pedestrian accidents can evaluate your case and help you pursue compensation. In accidents involving drunk drivers, it may be possible to secure punitive damages against the driver, which are significantly higher than the damages in a typical personal injury case.