Updated Fri, Sep 13, 2013 2:33 pm
You don't have to be behind the wheel to cause a car accident.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol is reminding pedestrians and motorists to be safe and responsible.
Lt. George Harlow, post commander in Athens for State Highway patrol said this is too often forgotten.
"Everyone feels that if they’re the pedestrian, they have the right of way, and perhaps that’s true, but even if you do have the right of way, if you can seek something to avoid getting hurt, then that would be on you to make sure that happens," Harlow said.
According to a press release from the Gallipolis and Pomeroy State Highway Patrol, from 2010 to 2012, there were 7,611 pedestrian-involved crashes in Ohio alone. There were 311 fatalities caused by those accidents.
Although pedestrian accidents occur more frequently in urban areas, Lt. Harlow said rurual areas like Athens face their own challenges
"Our rural highways, our county roads and township roads don’t have sidewalks, so in that situation, when there is no sidewalk, it’s imperative that we get as far off of the travel portion of the roadway as we can," he said.
Harlow also said texting while crossing the street is dangerous for both pedestrians and drivers.
When a sidewalk is provided, it is unlawful for pedestrians not to use it.
Harlow recommends pedestrians try to make eye contact with every driver they pass while crossing the road, in order to ensure that they are seen.
"Remember that crashes can happen to you. It’s not just the other person, and that applies whether you’re walking alongside of the road or driving a car," Harlow said.