Pedestrian Accidents on the University of Kentucky Campus

September 29th, 2016 by Attorney Julie Butcher

The UK campus is alive with people during the school year. With about 29,000 students and another 14,000 staff and faculty who need to go where they belong, there will be thousands of pedestrians walking through the campus each day. Add to this all the vehicle traffic from students, employees, mass transit, contractors and deliveries, and the campus is an accident waiting to happen.

It probably won’t take long, especially with so many distracted pedestrians and drivers. Students may be focused on smartphones, texting, Twitter, listening to ear buds or headphones. Some may actually talk to one another, too distracted to notice dangers ahead. If pedestrians don’t pay attention to where they are or where they’re headed, miss traffic signals or not hear vehicles passing, by serious injuries or deaths may occur.

Not only are the pedestrians distracted, the drivers are, too. They may also be preoccupied by smartphones, texting, eating, adjusting temperature controls or the radio while driving on South Limestone. Heated debates with passengers about UK basketball or how bad the football team will be could result in a driver’s failing to notice a pedestrian walking onto Rose Street.

Major sporting events bring thousands more people onto the campus and increase vehicle traffic, increasing the risks of accidents. Fans drinking too much before and after the games pose additional hazards to pedestrians and drivers alike.

Drivers need to take precautions to prevent hitting a pedestrian, including

  • Focus on the road and driving — don’t look at your phone. Listen to GPS directions — don’t look at the map on the screen unless you’re at a stop light or a stop sign. If your phone rings or you receive a text, ignore them. Let the caller leave a message. Read the text later.
  • Check your mirrors, look to both sides and drive slowly when backing out of driveways or parking spaces.
  • Don’t speed. Drive at a safe speed for conditions. Slow down in parking lots. Rain, snow and ice can make stopping more difficult and make it easier to hit a pedestrian or another vehicle. Give yourself enough time and distance to brake and stop.
  • Give pedestrians in crosswalks the right of way. Be aware of pedestrians on the sidewalk and be prepared for the possibility of jaywalkers suddenly entering the roadway.

Pedestrians can also take steps to be safer:

  • Look both ways before crossing the street.
  • Pay attention to stoplights, crosswalk signals and signs on the streets. Walk only on the proper signal; don’t rush across as the lights are changing.
  • Be alert when crossing the street. Look for drivers who are going too fast to stop in time or who are driving erratically.
  • Avoid walking alone if you have been drinking. Impaired judgment and senses make it more difficult to safely get to your destination.
  • Walking at night can be especially hazardous, particularly in bad weather and poor visibility. Wear bright or reflective clothing and carry a flashlight. Be less concerned about fashion and more concerned about getting to your destination in one piece.
  • Use sidewalks when available. If you must walk in the street, walk toward oncoming traffic.

If you’ve been injured as a pedestrian in an accident on the University of Kentucky campus, we can help. Contact our office today so we can talk about what happened, your injuries, applicable laws and your best options for obtaining compensation for those injuries.