The National Highway Transportation And Safety Administration (NHSTA) has named October as “National Pedestrian Safety month.” From 2016 through 2020, October has been the month with the highest number of fatal auto accident injuries to people traveling by foot in Michigan.
Several likely factors explain why it’s tough to be a pedestrian in October, including shorter days contributing to lower pedestrian visibility, more people out at dusk enjoying our last days of good weather, many fall events that have pedestrians and drivers on the streets after they’ve been drinking.
Our state’s larger cities are ones contributing most to these pedestrian vs. auto situations. Detroit leads the pack, followed by five college towns. Sometimes Frankenmuth feels like a college town with everything we have going on, how we all seem to know so many people, etc. Except the average student age is over 60 and there’s no college. And our town closes up shop pretty early at night, even on weekends! We’ve been fortunate here in Frankenmuth that there have been so few pedestrians injured by autos. It’s common to see visitors to our fine town lingering in the cross walks, some crossing where there isn’t a crosswalk (while doing some sort of pseudo-jog that uses more arms than legs and is way slower than they realize). It’s also common to see people driving on Main Street while staring at their phones. Now throw in a horse-and-buggy, and the average person’s growing impatience with just about everything, and it becomes clear that we need to calm down and stay VERY sharp as we drive down Main Street!
Michigan has laws for how auto accidents involving pedestrians are to be handled. These laws govern how (1) No-Fault benefits apply to the pedestrian, and (2) how pain and suffering, excess medical expenses and excess lost wages from the at-fault driver will be paid. If you’re wondering how well your auto policy would protect your finances if you became responsible for the auto accident medical costs of a pedestrian you injure with your auto, contact your insurance agent to find out how your auto policy would respond. Hint: they aren’t all the same!