It’s unfortunately common for a pedestrian walking across or along the side of a Nashville road to be struck by a motorist. This terrible scenario plays out time and again.
The good news is that not every instance of a pedestrian accident results in death. And when this happens, a pedestrian injury lawsuit can likely be filed to get the injured person restitution for their experience.
But why is this such a problem here in Nashville? And how can you stay safe while you walk down the road? We’d much rather avoid the problem in the first place than file a pedestrian lawsuit, but we're here for you should this terrible scenario happen.
Here’s what you need to know about pedestrian injuries in Nashville, TN.
As of March, Nashville saw a 33% increase in pedestrian accidents when compared to 2019. There were 32 deaths that resulted from pedestrians being struck by moving vehicles in 2019. This was up from 22 in 2018. And if the trends we saw at the start of the year continue, we could end up with a higher rate in 2020.
One major reason Nashville has a high rate of pedestrian accidents is that people walking and biking down the street are often too close to traffic. This isn’t always their fault. Nashville doesn’t have enough sidewalks. This puts pedestrians in harm’s way.
Distraction is another contributor to pedestrian accidents. This can happen both on the part of the driver as well as the pedestrian. Distracted drivers have been documented many times over for their inability to properly handle a vehicle while looking at their phones. However, distracted pedestrians pose certain dangers as well. Walking into traffic without properly looking in both directions can result in severe bodily injury or even death.
There are a handful of other situations that contribute to pedestrian accidents. This includes improperly marked crosswalks, sun glare depending on the time of day, and even a general lack of crosswalks leading pedestrians to jaywalk.
Mayor John Cooper has committed to a new initiative called Vision Zero. This is an effort to drop the number of pedestrian deaths in Nashville to zero. The initiative was first proposed by local non-profit Walk Bike Nashville.
According to Walk Bike Nashville:
“More than 80% of all pedestrian fatalities occur on state controlled arterial roads. These arterial roads, including Murfreesboro, Old Hickory, Gallatin and Nolensville Pikes, have speed limits over 30 mph, multiple lanes, few safe crosswalks and high numbers of transit riders.”
Focusing in on the most dangerous areas and correcting these issues can have a dramatic effect on the amount of pedestrian fatalities we see in Nashville.
Pedestrians can exercise an increased amount of caution to keep themselves safe as the city works to improve the situation.
Obey the Rules
The very first thing a pedestrian should do is to obey all of the applicable laws and road signs. This includes crossing only at marked crosswalks. This can be difficult in Nashville if you are in an area where crossings are far apart, but a little extra walking is much better than being the victim of an accident.
Pedestrians should be alert at all times. We can’t always depend on those around us to behave with the best habits. Walk on the left side of the road — toward traffic — so you can see the cars as they approach you. Vehicles can sneak up behind you when you walk on the other side of the road. This dramatically decreases your chances of avoiding an accident if the driver makes a mistake.
Remain mindful of how easily drivers can see you. Wear reflective surfaces if you know you are going to be walking or biking at night. Wear bright clothing, or even carry a light. A vehicle is much more likely to avoid you if the driver can easily see you.
Never assume the other driver will stop for you. You can’t be certain the motorist approaching you actually sees you. Wait at the side of a crosswalk for vehicles to let you through, or simply wait for them to pass by altogether.
What to Do If You’re Struck
Receiving medical help should always be your first concern. Call the police if you’ve been struck by a vehicle and get the driver’s information. This will be necessary should you decide to move forward with a pedestrian injury lawsuit.
Contact Bart Durham Injury Law if you are in the area of Nashville, TN or Bowling Green, KY. Our law firm is experienced with pedestrian injury lawsuits and can help you get the compensation you deserve.