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Young Michigan man killed in pedestrian accident

As the onset of full-blown summer time is just around the corner in Michigan, we are all spending more and more time outdoors. Jogging and biking are on the rise and kids are pedaling their way to little league games and the neighborhood park. Much of this outdoor activity puts us in close proximity to automobile traffic. We may be either biking along the curb or shoulder of the road, or even just crossing the street at an intersection while out for a walk.

All of this increased pedestrian and bicycle activity requires that motorists uphold their duty to drive in a safe manner and pay attention to their surroundings, including people on foot.

The potential for fatal accidents involving pedestrians was tragically demonstrated just last night in Michigan. According to the Kalamazoo county sheriff, the 20-year-old pedestrian was out walking at about 7:00 last evening when he was struck by a car driven by a 35-year-old man. The accident remains under investigation and no charges have yet been brought against the driver involved in the fatal pedestrian accident.

While the details of last night's deadly accident have not yet been released, there are several common scenarios that lead to pedestrians being struck by motor vehicles. Common among these scenarios is a failure to take pedestrians into account when navigating an intersection.

Too often when a driver is looking for a gap in the flow of traffic to make a turn, they are paying attention solely to the cars. When making a right turn for instance, the driver will be looking to his left to see the oncoming traffic. As soon as he sees a gap, he may shoot around the corner. The problem is that while he was looking to his left a pedestrian could very easily begun crossing the street in the crosswalk he is about to zoom through. It is important that whenever someone is driving a car they are not only paying attention to oncoming traffic but watching to make sure that the area directly in front of the car, in this case a pedestrian crosswalk, is clear.

Source: MLive.com, "Galesburg man, 20, struck by car, killed while walking along Michigan Avenue," Rosemary Parker, May 25, 2012

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