Virtually all of us spend some time during our days as a pedestrian – moving from one location to another either by foot or by a mobility aid is an act so routine that most of us take it for granted entirely. Suffering an injury as a pedestrian, however, can be a devastating and life-changing experience.
According to the City of Toronto, more than 2,300 pedestrians are injured every year in traffic collisions – that’s an average of six people every day. What’s more, half of all traffic fatalities involve pedestrians.
The Toronto Pedestrian Charter was designed to uphold and promote the rights of pedestrians of all ages and abilities to safe, convenient, direct and comfortable walking conditions. The Charter’s principles are designed to ensure that walking is a safe, comfortable and convenient mode of travel within the city.
At the same time, it is your responsibility as a pedestrian to follow some simple rules to help ensure the safety of your fellow pedestrians, as well as motorists and the public in general. Always obey traffic laws and cross at marked crosswalks or at traffic lights. Crossing in the middle of the block or from between parked cars puts yourself and motorists at unnecessary risk. Only cross after you are certain traffic has come to a complete stop – never take your right of way as a pedestrian for granted. Also, ensuring you take extra care around busy intersections and driveways is important – traffic can often quickly turn or exit – putting you at risk.
Because the accidents can be so serious, understanding your rights when you’ve been injured is paramount to ensuring you receive appropriate care and treatment. Seeking the advice of a capable and knowledgeable Ontario personal injury lawyer can be an important part of the recovery process if you suffer an accident as a pedestrian. The advice of trusted counsel in such a potentially life-altering experience can not only offer significant legal protection and advantages, but provide you invaluable peace of mind and assurance your interests are protected in what can be a stressful experience fraught with both personal and professional considerations.