In December, a 55-year-old pedestrian using a walker died when he was hit by an SUV as he was crossing the street. Per WRAL-TV, the crash happened around 6:30 pm as the 55-year-old man was attempting to cross US Highway 1 with his walker. Following the wreck, the driver of the SUV was given an alcohol test. Reportedly, the results of the test revealed that the driver was not drinking and driving prior to the deadly crash.
Tips for Drivers to Avoid Collisions with Disabled Pedestrians
There are steps drivers can take to help prevent accidents like the one involving the pedestrian using a walker, including:
- Drive cautiously if you see pedestrians around and/or you’re approaching an intersection.
- If you notice a disabled pedestrian crossing the street, be patient and give them time to cross the road at their own pace. If you try to rush them, it could endanger their safety, because it could lead to them doing something that they are physically incapable of doing and hurting themselves.
- Remember that people using wheelchairs, including wheelchairs that are motorized, are considered pedestrians.
- If you approach a crosswalk as a visually impaired pedestrian is crossing the street, stop your vehicle within five feet of the crosswalk, especially if you have a quiet car or truck, such as a hybrid vehicle. Visually impaired people use sound to judge the distance between them and traffic, so if your vehicle is within five feet of the crosswalk, it makes it easier for them to know you are there.
- In some cases, intersections include curb ramps for disabled pedestrians to use. Sometimes the curb ramps are located near the crosswalk instead of leading directly into it. Therefore, you should keep an eye out for disabled pedestrians using curb ramps as you approach intersections, because they may cross the street near but not directly in the crosswalk.
- Double check for pedestrians in crosswalks when you turn at an intersection, especially when you are turning right on a red light.