Pedestrian accidents are not uncommon in Australia, claiming hundreds of lives every year. Because of this, it is a must for everyone to prioritize safety – and this goes to both pedestrians and drivers. Road accidents can be avoided by simply following set of safety measures, sense of responsibility, and common sense. Hundreds of lives could be saved from pedestrian accidents by highlighting safety and reason. In fact, according to Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure, over the last five years, almost one in 10 fatal road accident victims in South Australia was a pedestrian. The department furthered that every pedestrian is at risk of getting involved in an accident at some point in their lives.
There are various reasons why pedestrian accidents occur in many parts of Australia, especially in crowded cities and areas. The following are some of the most common causes of road accidents involving pedestrians:
Driver inattentiveness – Motorists who fail to keep their focus on the road are more likely to be involved in a pedestrian accident than attentive drivers. When a driver loses his or her focus, chances are, he or she would commit a mistake that could lead to a road accident. Common types of distracted drivers are those who use cell phone while driving, those who talk with a passenger, those who eat, and even those who are preoccupied with daydreaming.
Confusion – Drivers who are not very familiar with the route they are taking can become a cause of pedestrian accident. Such drivers are at risk of unintentionally missing to yield at road crossings. Because of this, it is a must for drivers to keep their eyes on the road and to review their route prior to traveling. It is also imperative for them to watch out for traffic guides and signs like linemarking to avoid causing a pedestrian accident.
Drunk driving – Drunk drivers are liabilities because they can easily cause road accidents, including pedestrian accidents. Drivers who are under the influence of alcohol are less likely to make good and logical decisions with regard to driving, thus, they are vulnerable to cause a road accident. Since alcohol impairs a person’s motor skills, and senses relevant to driving, a drunk driver may fail to recognize crossing pedestrians, causing a road accident.
Aggressive driving – Drivers who do not have regard to the law are likely causes of road accidents. Motorists who violate traffic rules and regulations tend to be dangerous drivers, putting their own and other people’s lives at risk. This includes speeding drivers who do not respect road crossings, crossing pedestrians, and even linemarking.
Drivers are not always at fault in pedestrian accidents, as there are times that pedestrians themselves are to blame. Pedestrians who do not have regard to other on users road safety can become victims of accidents; thus, the Australian government has implemented rules to discipline such pedestrians. Pursuant to Road Traffic Act 1961 and the Australian Road Rules, it is the obligation of pedestrians to mind their safety and actions. According to the said laws:
- It is an offence for a pedestrian to cross a road diagonally unless at an intersection where this is allowed.
- A pedestrian must cross a road by the shortest safest route and they can only cross when the pedestrian lights are green.
- A pedestrian must not cross a road within 20 metres of a crossing on the road, except at the crossing or another crossing.
Safety should always be prioritized regardless if you are a pedestrian or a driver. Traffic accidents in Australia can be avoided if only people would always mind their actions and if they will give importance to their own and other people’s safety.