Local Accident Highlights the Risks Utah Pedestrians Face

Utah resident Marva Cutler is fighting for her life after being hit by a motorist as she walked along the street close to her home. Since the accident, the 59-year-old has undergone surgery on her gall bladder and pelvis. The driver of the car that struck Cutler, Marilu Angel, is currently under investigation.

Unfortunately, this is far from an isolated incident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 60,000 pedestrians are killed, and 110,000 more are injured, in accidents with motorists each year. In Utah alone, the Utah Department of Health reports that 10,567 pedestrians were hit by motorists from 1996 to 2005. During that time, 383 pedestrians were killed in these accidents.

There are a number of factors that contribute to motorist-pedestrian accidents, including the amount of people who walk to remain healthy and the numerous distracting activities that drivers often engage in. Both drivers and non-motorists can follow certain safety tips to try to avoid being involved in a pedestrian vs. car accident. Some safety suggestions include:

Safety Tips for Pedestrians

  • Be sure to walk on a sidewalk whenever possible
  • If you are in an area that does not have a sidewalk, walk along the road in the direction facing traffic
  • When walking at night, wear light-colored or reflective clothing, or carry a flashlight
  • Be vigilant when crossing the street and check for traffic in all directions

Safety Tips for Drivers

  • Be careful when driving in residential neighborhoods or when near schools and parks
  • Don't stop in a crosswalk - always stop behind it
  • Be vigilant when making turns - be sure to look around to see if there are any pedestrians close by
  • Always yield when pedestrians are crossing the street - even if the crosswalk is not marked

Even when drivers and pedestrians are diligent at following safety measures, accidents may still occur. If you or a loved one was a pedestrian injured in a motor vehicle accident, it is important to know that you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and medical bills. Speak to an attorney experienced in personal injury matters to learn more about your rights and legal options.