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Local incident proves that pedestrians need extra space

Walking down the street should never put a Washington resident in harm's way. Unfortunately, many pedestrians are injured or killed to no fault of their own.

Although many of these accidents happen when a driver is drunk or distracted, they can also happen simply because a driver isn't careful enough. Speeding, ignoring a stop sign and failing to watch for pedestrians are poor decisions that may lead to serious crashes. This fact is demonstrated in a frightening recent case.

The accident took place in Shoreline, WA on a two-lane divided road without any sidewalks. A woman was pushing a stroller along the shoulder with her other child beside her. A car approached from behind and hit the mother and child, knocking the stroller to the ground. Fortunately, their injuries are mild, but pedestrian accidents can often have severe consequences.

Police report that the driver was not intoxicated at the time. Instead, the woman claims that the driver misjudged the amount of space that the family needed to stay safe. The driver allegedly thought that the car took up less room than it did.

This incident is a prime example of the need to be especially cautious around pedestrians. Drivers have a responsibility to yield to pedestrians wherever they may be on the road, including the shoulder. In this case, the driver might have prevented the family's injuries if they had slowed down, eliminated any distractions and safely moved as far toward the center line as possible. Just these simple steps can make an enormous difference.

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