Safety Tips for Pedestrians and Bicyclists in Kentucky

July 1, 2024

Summer is a beautiful time of year to enjoy the outdoors, whether walking, jogging, or cycling. However, accidents involving pedestrians and bicyclists are a concern in Kentucky, particularly during the summer, because people are often out and about. At Saladino & Schaaf, PLLC, your Kentucky accident lawyers, we’re experienced attorneys who have helped individuals get the compensation they deserve after they have been hurt due to the negligence of others. 

What the Numbers Tell Us

In 2023 alone, there were 137 pedestrians/bicyclists and 105 motorcyclists killed on Kentucky highways. The number of non-fatal accidents involving non-motorists is even higher. These accidents often result in serious injuries, often with life altering consequences. 

Common Causes of Non-Motorist Accidents

Distracted driving is a significant factor in non-motorist accidents. When partially focused on the road, drivers are more likely to overlook pedestrians, bicyclists, and other non-motorists. Drivers who are texting, talking on the phone, or not paying attention to the road run a greater risk of hitting pedestrians or bicyclists. 

Another frequent cause of non-motorist accidents is impaired driving. When drivers who are fatigued or under the influence of drugs and alcohol get behind the wheel, reaction times, judgment, and coordination are severely compromised. This increases the likelihood of collisions with pedestrians or bicyclists.

Consequences of Non-Motorist Accidents

Non-motorists are more vulnerable to severe injuries and fatalities compared to those inside vehicles. When a pedestrian or bicyclist is struck by a car, they absorb the full impact of the collision without the protection of a vehicle’s frame, seatbelts, or airbags. This can result in life-altering injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, and internal organ damage.

In addition to the physical toll, non-motorist accidents can have significant emotional and financial consequences. Victims may experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression following an accident. They may also face extensive medical bills, lost wages, and other financial burdens. The aftermath of a non-motorist accident can be a long and challenging road to recovery for both the victim and their loved ones.

What if You’re the Pedestrian or the Bicyclist? 

Pedestrians and bicyclists can greatly reduce their risk of being involved in accidents with motorists by being careful and visible. Ideally, everybody should follow the same rules of the road. This includes stopping at red lights, obeying stop signs, and using designated crosswalks when available. Pedestrians should use sidewalks when possible and cross streets at marked crosswalks or intersections. In Kentucky, bicyclists are required to ride with the flow of traffic and follow all traffic control devices.  

 An important aspect of staying safe as a pedestrian or bicyclist is being visible to motorists. Wear bright, reflective clothing, especially during low-light conditions such as dawn, dusk, or nighttime. Bicyclists should equip their bikes with front and rear lights as well as standard reflectors. Pedestrians and dog walkers can carry flashlights or wear reflective accessories to increase their visibility.

Walking or cycling can be just as dangerous as distracted driving. Avoid using headphones or earbuds that may prevent you from hearing approaching vehicles or other hazards. Keep your eyes on your surroundings and be aware of potential dangers, such as uneven pavement, potholes, or debris on the road. If you need to use your phone, stop in a safe location before doing so.

Bicyclists may use hand signals to communicate their intentions to motorists and other bicyclists. This helps drivers anticipate their movements and reduces the risk of collisions.

For bicyclists, wearing a helmet is one of the most effective ways to prevent serious head injuries in the event of an accident. In Kentucky, bicyclists under 12 are legally required to wear a helmet, but it’s strongly recommended for all ages. Ensure your helmet fits properly and meets the safety standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Look for the MIPS designation (Multi-directional Impact Protection) for increased head protection when shopping for a helmet. 

Children are particularly vulnerable to accidents as pedestrians and bicyclists due to their smaller size and less developed sense of judgment. Supervise children when they are walking or riding their bikes near traffic. Teach them the importance of following traffic laws, using crosswalks, and wearing helmets. To reinforce these lessons, consider practicing safe walking and cycling habits with your children.

Kentucky Accident Lawyers, Saladino & Schaaf Can Help if You’ve Been Hurt

Accidents involving pedestrians or bicyclists can be stressful and complicated. Your safety and that of those around you should be a priority whether you are a driver or a pedestrian/bicyclist. 

At Saladino & Schaaf, PLLC, your Kentucky accident lawyers, we’re here to help you get the compensation you deserve if you have been hurt due to the negligence of others. Call us at (270) 444-0406 or (270) 753-1529 for a free consultation. Our offices are conveniently located in Paducah and Murray.




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Close-up of a bicycling helmet fallen on the asphalt next to a bicycle after car accident on the road. Kentucky accident lawyers Saladino & Schaaf.




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