A few days after a teen was hit and seriously injured on a crosswalk in Midvale, police officers set up a sting on crosswalks to help educated drivers. Bailey Conway, a 17-year-old was hit on January 24 and is set to be released from the hospital today. The accident caused a broken femur, collapsed lung, and internal bleeding. In the last few years, pedestrian deaths have been increasing in Utah. Statistics report that there were 43 pedestrians roads in 2017.
According to an article published on Fox13.com, Lt. Brian Lohrke spoke of the sting saying, “We set up officers dressed in plain clothes walking the streets, using the crosswalks properly and seeing if motorists would stop for them.” According to the article, in the three hours, they wrote 41 tickets to drivers and pedestrians. Lt. Lohrke also pointed out, “It’s a multitude of reason why [the number of pedestrian accidents] has gone up. Distracted driving but also pedestrians not crossing where they should be.”
A pedestrian accident can be a horrible experience as evidenced by the teen’s injuries shared above. We are glad to hear that the teen is on the mend and will hopefully be released from the hospital today. Any pedestrian accident is an enormous tragedy. According to an article featured in the Deseret News, the top six factors in U.S. pedestrian deaths are
- Failure to yield the right of way (27.4%)
- Improper crossing of roadway or intersection (16.6%)
- Not visible (darker clothing, no lighting, etc.) (14.9%)
- In road improperly (Standing, lying, working, playing) (13.2%)
- Under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medications (11.4%)
- Darting or running into road (10.6%)
Understanding the nature and causes of the various deaths can aid in preventing such accidents from happening. For example, always knowing who has the right of way can be very important for both pedestrians and drivers. More information about who has the right of way can be found on safemotorist.com. Who has the right of way depends mainly on where you are. Both drivers and pedestrians should never assume that they have the right of way. You should also attempt to anticipate the other person’s actions. For instance, if you are a driver and you see someone walking toward the street, don’t assume that they will stop or walk to the crosswalk. Also, as a pedestrian, always be on guard when crossing the street. Do not assume that the driver has seen you.
There are a few rules of thumb when dealing with both pedestrians and drivers. If a pedestrian crosses at a roadway where there isn’t a crosswalk, he/she is supposed to yield the right of way to vehicles. According to Utah Code, a pedestrian is expected to obey traffic instructions including signs and traffic-control devices. If the walker fails to comply with the rules of traffic, then he/she is subject to an infraction. More information concerning the rights and duties of pedestrians can be found on the Utah Legislature’s website. Here at The Advocates, we encourage everyone to stay safe while crossing the street and while sharing the road with people on foot. If you have any questions or concerns regarding a pedestrian accident, contact The Advocates. We can help resolve any questions you might have.