We are all familiar with the classic scene of the damsel in distress.  It usually involved a hero, and the love of his life tied to a railroad track by an evil villain as a train rapidly approached. And the question flashes across the screen “Will the hero reach the girl before the train?” And as luck would have it, in story world the answer was always “yes”.  The hero comes through in the end, saving the girl in the nick of time and thwarting the plans of the villain in the process. In the old days, the danger of getting hit by a train was the equivalent of the modern day pedestrian accident. And, apparently thanks to all the heroes back in the day, there weren’t very many actual accidents that occurred. But since that time, pedestrian injuries and fatalities have been on the rise. With the advancements in automobiles, increased population, and the migration from rural to urban environments, there is simply a higher concentration of people and vehicles in one place, increasing the opportunity for accidents to occur. The fact of the matter is that being a pedestrian today is just more dangerous. On average, a pedestrian is injured every 8 minutes and killed every 2 hours. While only 8.4% of all trips are made on foot, 11.4% of all traffic-related deaths today are pedestrians. So pedestrians are more at risk than drivers. In Oregon, “vulnerable user laws” were put in place back in 2007 to protect pedestrians. While automobile manufacturers have made tremendous advancements in keeping drivers and passengers safer during a crash, a pedestrian has no such protection. That is why these laws exist- to protect those that are most vulnerable. In a recent study of over 7,000 vehicle-pedestrian accidents, 80% were found to be the fault of the pedestrian. But there are certain things you can do to help avoid being involved in a pedestrian accident. PAY ATTENTION The more time you spend in close proximity to traffic, the more comfortable you get around it. This can cause you to lose focus and forget how dangerous it can be. Be aware of the traffic around you. NO JAYWALKING A majority of pedestrian accidents do not happen at intersections, and 74% of these crashes occur where there is no traffic control in place. So a practical step that you can take is to simply use cross walks and obey the Do Not Walk signs. DRINKING AND WALKING Studies show that somewhere between 40-60% of all pedestrian fatalities and injuries occur to pedestrians who are legally drunk. These pedestrians use poor judgment and are often unaware of traffic conditions in their impaired state. WATCH YOUR CHILDREN For children, darting out between parked cars causes a majority of their accidents. 80% of 6-8 year olds involved in pedestrian accidents happened because the child darted out between parked vehicles. Children are particularly more vulnerable because they often don’t pay attention to traffic patterns and they are more difficult for drivers to see. If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian collision, no matter what the cause, you may be entitled to compensation. Here at Berkshire Ginsberg, LLC we have experienced attorneys who specialize in pedestrian accidents, and they have the knowledge and experience to get you the money you deserve. For more information, or to schedule a consultation,  contact us today.