Insurance Tips to Ensure Pedestrian Safety
According to the United States Department of Transportation, pedestrian safety is a priority concern after the lockdowns last year. In line with this concern, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) developed a study regarding the U.S. insurance industry and its relationship with pedestrian safety. The conclusions they arrived at indicate that sports utility vehicles (or SUVs) pose an increased threat to pedestrian safety than regular passenger cars do.
Sam Monfort, an expert statistician at IIHS, led the study and stated that SUV’s “seem to be more deadly to pedestrians than cars are.” According to the study, the blunt force front ends of larger vehicles are the cause of greater damage that is provoked to the victim compared to regular cars.
The report also indicates that these vehicles and the number of pedestrian deaths on U.S. roads have increased in parallel over the years. In the words of IIHS, “the number of pedestrians killed by vehicles rose 53 percent from 2009 to 2018, the latest year for which statistics are available.”
This analysis of U.S. car accidents opens the debate about the best safeguards to ensure pedestrian safety. Findings from the presented study suggest pressure will be put on manufacturers to make design changes to SUVs so they are less deadly in case of an accident.
Prevention for protection is the first step to secure the lives of our pedestrians. As a second step, a strong insurance system will get the victim coverage to face recovery of damages when accidents do occur.
What are the Insurance Options when a Pedestrian is Injured?
It is a well-known fact that vehicles should always give the right of way to individuals on the road. If a pedestrian is injured in an accident involving an SUV because this law is not respected, the driver is found at fault.
Let us review some insurance situations regarding the example above. If the car that hits the person has auto insurance, the driver’s coverage will come into play for medical expenses.
Now, imagine the driver who hit the person did not have car insurance. In this situation, the best option for the injured individual is to look at their medical policy. When these cases arise, the medical insurance company will go to the auto insurer responsible to subrogate the claim.
In another example, if this accident occurred while the pedestrian was working, the worker can rely on their workers’ compensation insurance for coverage of the damages.
Pedestrian Insurance Changes According to State
According to the digital site All Law, it is important to remember that driving and insurance rules change depending on whether you live in a ‘no fault’ state. For example, in most ‘no fault’ states, a pedestrian must turn to their policy for damages up to a certain limit, no matter the driver’s coverage.
In other states that do not follow this rule, the driver’s insurance is the one that will pay for the damages. If the driver does not have coverage, the pedestrian’s no-fault coverage will provide payment.
Also, remember that mandatory coverage in no-fault states can often exclude compensation for pain and suffering. If the pedestrian is uninsured, but the driver is insured, the driver’s insurance will cover all damages.
What are Safety Tips for Drivers to Avoid Accidents?
Because of the complexity of determining who is at fault and whose insurance coverage will pay for damages, prevention is the best solution to secure pedestrian’s safety. Here you have six useful tips developed by Adam S. Kutner, accident & injury attorneys’ specialist, that you can start implementing today.
- Do not drive under the influence: When a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, their reaction time is reduced by as much as a tenth of a second.
- Be aware of the weather: Just because the weather is bad does not mean there will be no pedestrians on the road. Make sure you are aware of this and drive carefully in inclement weather to give yourself time to react.
- Do not make assumptions: You should never guess what is going on when you are driving. For example, if a car in front of you is slowing down, do not assume they are turning and try to go around them.
- Stop for school busses: All drivers must understand the rule to stop when a school bus has its stop sign out. Children are unpredictable, so make sure you do not move your vehicle until the bus driver determines all kids are safely on the sidewalk and brings the sign in.
- Be patient: Some individuals may require extra time to cross the road. It is important to be patient any time a pedestrian is crossing the road to avoid getting too close and making them feel unsafe.
- Drive slow in pedestrian areas: Driving slower in areas where pedestrians frequent will give you more time to react when somebody steps out into the road.
Remember to always take extra caution when pedestrians are present to avoid injuries and expensive insurance claims. To learn more about insurance policy best practices, check out the SmartCompliance blog!