Pedestrian dangers in Maricopa County

Pedestrians in Maricopa County should learn about the serious risks they face on area roads every day.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 849 people died in motor vehicle accidents in all of Arizona in 2013. Of those, 151 people were pedestrians. More than half of those pedestrian fatalities occurred in Maricopa County where 84 pedestrians lost their lives in traffic accidents. The county's total vehicular fatality count that year was 398, making pedestrian deaths a large portion of the overall deaths.

Pima County had the second highest number of pedestrian deaths with 23. Only three counties in Arizona experienced no pedestrian deaths at all that year-Cochise, Graham and La Paz.

An ongoing danger

These statistics may be from 2013 but the dangers faced by pedestrians in Phoenix continue to this day. Following are highlights from just a few recent stories in the news:

  • AZCentral.com reported on the death of a high school student after being hit by vehicles while waiting for the school bus one morning. According to the story, two vehicles collided and the boy was struck in the process.
  • A 24-year old man was taken to the hospital with serious injuries after being hit by a car as he crossed the road in Glendale. The pedestrian victim died at the hospital. ABC15.com reported that the driver of the vehicle did not stop and had not yet been found at the time that the story was published.
  • A possible drunk driver was responsible for the death of two men in North Phoenix according to ABC15.com. The men were apparently having a conversation on the side of a road when a vehicle ran into them. The driver of the vehicle was 17 years old.

Clearly, the simple acts of standing at a bus stop, crossing a road or standing on a roadside can put pedestrians in harm's way.

What can pedestrians do?

Whether on sidewalks, streets or in parking lots, pedestrians should take care to follow all traffic rules, signs and signals. This includes crossing streets at designated crosswalks or corners. Wearing clothing that is brightly colored or special reflective gear can improve visibility to motorists at any time of day or night. If walking in dusk or dark conditions, the use of a flashlight or headlamp is also wise.

When these measures fail to prevent a pedestrian-vehicle collision, help is needed. Victims and family members deserve compensation for accidents caused by the negligence of drivers. Contacting a lawyer at this time is the recommended course of action.