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Mutual respect may limit car accidents involving pedestrians

Both pedestrians and vehicle operators are always at risk of being involved in traffic accidents in Ontario. For this reason, it is the responsibility of all to obey the rules of the road to avoid car accidents. If each group respects the other, there may be fewer injuries and fatalities.

Pedestrians must cross only in marked crosswalks and at traffic lights, and even then it is wise to make sure drivers are aware of them before they step onto the roadway -- making eye contact may be best. Crossing on a red light is tempting fate, and the best practice is to wait for green or the "Walk" sign -- even if there are no approaching vehicles. Making sure there is enough time to complete the crossing might also help to stay safe. Watching for turning vehicles at intersections and driveways could prove to be a life-saving habit.

Drivers must always keep a lookout for pedestrians -- particularly upon approach to crosswalks or intersections. This also applies when attempting a turn at a crossing or into parking lots or private driveways. Being extra vigilant when travelling in residential areas or school zones may prevent pedestrian accidents involving children. Special consideration may be required when seniors or pedestrians who are physically challenged attempt to cross the road because they might need more time. Furthermore, the areas around streetcar stops are typically danger zones because pedestrians may make unanticipated moves.

Taking extra care and respecting each other may save lives and prevent many accidents, but there is little chance of eliminating car accidents or auto-pedestrian accidents altogether. In the meantime, injured victims of any traffic accidents may pursue financial relief by filing personal injury lawsuits in an Ontario civil court. This could be a challenging endeavour, but the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer can simplify the process. Once negligence is established, the court can determine liability and adjudicate documented claims for damages.

Source: mto.gov.on.ca, "Road safety: Pedestrians", Accessed on Jan. 12, 2018

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