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Is eye contact the key to reducing pedestrian accidents?

As we have discussed in previous posts, when pedestrians are struck by cars, the injuries they suffer are often serious. Reducing the situations in which these incidents occur is just one of many reasons why carmakers are always seeking to improve technologies that stop vehicles before they come into contact with other objects. While there is no question this technology can be beneficial, this does not mean other methods, arguably simpler methods, should be overlooked. 

There are things that both drivers as well as pedestrians can do to keep each other safe. For example, pedestrians can avoid distracting behaviour while walking and be aware of their surroundings. When walking at night, they can avoid wearing dark colors. They can also opt to cross the street at a corner and when possible, use a crosswalk.

Similarly, drivers can pay attention to what’s going on around them and observe the rules of the road. While drivers must stop when a pedestrian is in a crosswalk, they must also be alert to situations when a pedestrian might dart out from between cars so that they can take action to avoid a collision.

One writer recently pointed out what might be the simplest way to keep all parties involved safe—eye contact. When both parties establish eye contact with each other before anyone attempts to cross the street, both parties know that the other one is aware they are there. In these situations it is much less likely that an accident will occur.

Because the number of pedestrians who died in Toronto last year was the highest it has ever been, this simple approach is clearly worth everyone trying. If it prevents even just one death, most would likely agree it’s worth it.

If you, a friend or a family member are victims of someone's negligence and suffering from injuries and losses, contact us to speak to one of our lawyers to know your rights and what steps you should be taking in order to protect your rights for the future.

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