As a pedestrian in downtown Birmingham, you know just how crowded it can become. During rush hour, you’re surrounded by so many motor vehicles that you’re likely to have concerns about your safety.

While there’s nothing you can do to control the decisions of others, you can personally take steps to prevent an accident. Do the following:

  • Follow the “walk” and “don’t walk” signs at intersections
  • Don’t cross the street until you look both ways, twice
  • Only cross the street in a designated crosswalk
  • Don’t quickly walk into traffic after a signal change
  • Avoid distractions so you can keep your eyes on what’s happening around you

When you get into the habit of doing these things, it’s easier to feel confident in your ability to prevent trouble.

You can also enhance your safety by understanding the types of mistakes drivers can make that cause an accident:

  • Reckless driving, such as illegal passing, speeding and neglecting to stop at a red light
  • Distracted driving
  • Failure to yield to pedestrians at crosswalks
  • Ignoring traffic conditions
  • Drowsy driving
  • Driving under the influence

For example, you know that drivers should stop for pedestrians at crosswalks. However, you also know that some drivers won’t do so. Don’t assume that someone is going to stop for you. Look both ways and proceed with caution. If you see a vehicle that’s not slowing down, stay on the sidewalk where it’s safe.

What to do after an accident

If you’re injured in a car-pedestrian accident, you’re not likely to be in any position to stand up and walk away from the scene. If possible, move yourself to safety and then call 911. You may need to rely on a passerby to provide assistance and call for help.

You’ll only understand the extent of your injuries after receiving treatment at a local hospital. Your medical team will stabilize your situation, provide you with an accurate overview of your injuries and help you implement a treatment plan.

The final step, once you’re on your way to recovering, is to review the circumstances of the accident with the idea of protecting your legal rights.

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