Whether for business, pleasure, or daily life, walking and driving in Virginia are beautiful yet occasionally dangerous activities. While overall motorists are cautious and considerate, and pedestrians are aware and alert, accidents do happen and they can be devastating.
If an accident were to happen, Virginia does have legal measures in place to help victims collect compensation for their damages, often by working with an experienced Virginia personal injury attorney. However, being aware of the risks of both can help you to make more informed decisions about how you will safely walk or drive around.
Risks of Driving
Driving is recognized as relatively safe in most situations, however, the addition of negligence can cause serious injuries. Highway driving carries a far lower risk of pedestrian interaction, though the speeds are greater and the resulting crashes can be devastating. Drivers tend to become more comfortable and relaxed while driving in environments like this.
Driving in more populated areas brings lower speeds but much more frequent interaction with pedestrians is commonplace. Pedestrians can be unpredictable. Children, in particular, tend to be impulsive and carefree, leading to potential danger if they suddenly enter traffic.
Walking is widely seen as an incredibly safe and healthy way to get around, especially in highly walkable cities like Arlington. Just like driving, however, being a pedestrian carries with it a unique set of risks.
Pedestrians tend to be more alert than drivers, but pedestrians also engage in risky behaviors like crossing violations. Since recent legislation banned mobile use while driving, drivers should be less distracted, but the tendency for drivers to largely overlook pedestrians remains.
Best Ways to Avoid Injury
Most accidents and injuries are preventable and can be avoided with relative ease. Here are some tips to avoid injury while walking or driving around.
- Be predictable, and don’t make sudden changes in direction without making sure it’s safe and signaling, if applicable
- Never walk or drive while distracted or intoxicated
- Aim to be seen, but don’t assume you have been
- If walking in low light, be sure you wear reflective clothing and carry a light
- Always follow the rules of the road and yield when appropriate
Is Walking or Driving More Dangerous?
The Virginia DMV reports that while 2016 produced 761 fatalities from traffic accidents, 121 of those were pedestrians. While more than 15% of fatalities are from pedestrians, the ratio of driving fatalities to walking fatalities decidedly points to driving as being more dangerous.
What to Do if Injured While Walking Or Driving
If you are injured, be sure you take necessary steps to protect yourself, including:
- Documenting everything about the accident
- Getting medical attention to document your injuries
- Contacting a personal injury attorney for additional guidance and pursuit of compensation
- Not speaking to the insurance adjuster before an attorney
Let Experienced Professionals Help
Contact us today if you have any questions about personal injury claims or to discuss your case.