It’s sad to think about anyone getting hit by a car, especially since pedestrian crashes are completely preventable. Pedestrians have a right to walk in certain areas, such as on a sidewalk or in a crosswalk. They nearly always have the right of way, meaning that drivers have to be cautious when they know that pedestrians could be present.

In Worchester, an 80-year-old pedestrian was seriously injured when he was struck as he crossed the exit of a McDonald’s parking lot. The man suffered injuries to his head and back, according to the news report.

The man was struck by a 2004 Chevrolet Impala that was being driven by a 74-year-old man. They were exiting the parking lot when the pedestrian walked into the pathway.

Crashes like this are totally preventable, and injuries can be minimized when they do happen.

How can drivers be safer when pedestrians are present?

Drivers should know to drive slowly when pedestrians are present. In parking lots and areas where pedestrians could suddenly walk or move into a vehicle’s path, drivers should slow down to 15 mph or less unless a different speed limit is posted. At such a slow speed, it would be unlikely for a pedestrian to be hurt if they were impacted, and drivers would likely be able to stop extremely quickly in the event that a pedestrian did walk out in front of them.

What can pedestrians do to be safer in a parking lot?

Pedestrians who are in parking lots need to look both ways and be cautious. Drivers may be pulling out of parking spaces or turning into lanes, and they may not expect to see pedestrians in the main travel lanes. Pedestrians should look for back-up lighting, turn signals and other signs that vehicles may be moving toward them.

It is everyone’s responsibility to prevent crashes and injuries. It’s important that you know the laws wherever you’re driving or walking, so you can make good choices that help protect you and the people who are around you. Taking a few extra seconds to look around or wait for a vehicle to pass could help prevent a crash.