Fewer people getting hit by cars in Yakima

YAKIMA, Wash. -- Without a car, John Lambert's only way to get around is by walking. But he doesn't mind it. He just makes sure that he's always careful.

"I've seen an old lady go to cross the road and some car almost hit her," said John.

He said the close calls he's seen in Yakima are from distracted drivers.

"People will text message when they're in the vehicle when they're not supposed to," said John.

"Sometimes it's even just changing the radio," said Luis Padilla. "People don't notice things going on."

Last year, YPD reported five traffic accidents involving walkers. That's down from the year before. In 2011, there were 14.

Some common causes of these accidents are distracted drivers, jay walkers, and people wearing dark clothing at night.

Luis Padilla said he's had some close calls himself. He's been hit by a car before. So now he's extra careful when he walks around town.

"Afterwards I was like 'oh my god I got so lucky.' It wasn't a great experience, not something you want other people to go through," said Luis.

Officials suggest that walkers make eye contact with drivers if they can. Taking a quick moment to make sure they see you. And don't assume drivers will stop because you have the walk light.

"Just yesterday I saw a car come to a stop in a hurry and slam his brakes and go through the stop light and come this far from hitting someone," said John.

Officials said if there's no sidewalk, walkers should face traffic so they can see the drivers.