We've become careless pedestrians and it's a problem.

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We have seen the number of pedestrian accidents rising steadily and there is a reason. It seems that we've lost all respect and fear of moving vehicles. Sadly, when a pedestrian walks into the path of a moving vehicle the results aren't ever good. Inattention, ignoring basic traffic rules, and distraction from the task at hand (crossing the road) all make us prime targets for cars.

Too many of us have become careless on the sidewalks and when crossing the roads. In Toronto the number of pedestrian and car accidents increased by 26% in 2015. Police point to many factors, with only a few of them related to the drivers of the cars, bikes, trucks, and busses. The pedestrian collisions and deaths aren’t selective. We are losing young and old to them. There were over 1500 collisions alone last year in Toronto. I couldn’t find the up to date statistics for the ROW but I know we’ve had too many pedestrian deaths and injuries here as well.

Police indicate that in the majority of cases it is the pedestrians who are at fault in the accidents. We are impatient and cross against the lights. We J-walk and step out from between parked cars. We don’t yield to cars that we see coming on the assumption they should/will stop. We are so wrapped up in reading our smart phones or listening to our devices that we are in an insulated bubble oblivious to everything around us. Several accidents this year involved people simply stepping off the curb into the line of traffic.

Obviously some of the accidents are the fault of vehicles failing to yield to pedestrians where they should, but too often this isn’t the reason. Inattention, ignoring basic traffic rules, and distraction from the task at hand (crossing the road) all make us prime targets for cars.

If you are hit and injured by a car you may be entitled to accident benefits under either your insurance policy or the driver’s policy regardless of who is at fault. You should call the police and an ambulance if you are hit and injured. You should contact a personal injury lawyer to make sure you get the benefits that you are entitled to.