6 Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
What are the most common causes of pedestrian accidents?
Getting into an accident as a pedestrian can be terrifying and serious. Unlike car accidents, pedestrians have nothing to protect them, not even a helmet like a motorcyclist or bicyclist would have. Because of that, pedestrian accidents often result in serious injuries and even death. In 2017, 5,977 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in the United States.
Pedestrian accidents may cause severe injuries such as traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, broken bones, fractures, and lacerations. The more serious an injury is, the more expensive treatment is likely to be, resulting in higher medical bills and overall more stress for the patient. But what actually causes pedestrian accidents to occur, and how can they be prevented?
Distracted driving can cause all sorts of accidents, from car accidents to pedestrian accidents. This type of reckless driving is incredibly dangerous, as it causes drivers to take their eyes off the road. Even a second of distraction can cause an accident. Common distractions include texting while driving, eating, applying makeup or even a distracted mind.
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is also a common cause of pedestrian accidents. Driving while impaired can cause a lack of focus, blurred vision, and distorted thoughts, making it hard to drive safely. If a driver is impaired they could drive up onto a sidewalk, run a red light or a stop sign, crashing into a pedestrian.
Impatient drivers, or those who don’t want to stop at stop signs or wait patiently for their turn at yield signs may cause pedestrian accidents. This is especially common at right turn on red intersections, where pedestrians have the right of way. If a driver is impatient, they may crash into a pedestrian without even meaning to.
Like impatient drivers, reckless drivers cause accidents in a similar way. They may try to run a red light or a stop sign when they’re in a rush. Their recklessness could cause an accident and serious injury, making them liable for the accident. Reckless driving include speeding, running lights, and general road rage.
Bad weather, like rain, can cause poor visibility, and if a driver isn’t careful they could hit someone. When driving in bad weather, drivers need to make sure they’re giving the road their full attention at all times. Because visibility is worse, an accident could more easily occur if they aren’t careful.
At lights where a car can turn left turn on a solid green light, an accident may occur if the driver isn’t paying attention to the entire intersection. Sometimes drivers will only focus on their ability to turn left and they won’t see a pedestrian crossing the street.
How to Prevent a Pedestrian Accident
To prevent a pedestrian accident from occurring, you should follow the below safety measures, making sure that you’re doing your part to stay as safe as you can while walking, whether it be on a small back road or a busy city street.
- Make sure that you follow the rules of the road, cross when it’s allowed and don’t jaywalk in areas where there are crosswalks present.
- Walk on the sidewalks whenever possible.
- If there isn’t a sidewalk, walk facing traffic as far away from the road as you can.
- Make sure you’re paying attention at all times, keep your eyes and ears on the road.
- Cross the street at crosswalks when possible, and pay extra close attention when crossing at a busy intersection where drivers may be turning left or right.
- Don’t assume that drivers see you. If it’s dark, wear light colors that will reflect off of car headlights and street lights. Make sure that drivers can see you.
- Watch for cars entering and exiting parking lots and driveways.
What to Do If You’ve Been Involved in a Pedestrian Accident
If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident, the first thing that you want to do is make sure that everyone involved is safe, including yourself. Make sure to call an ambulance, especially if someone is injured from the accident. If you’re safe enough to stay at the scene of the accident, you should file a police report immediately. Don’t let anyone talk you out of contacting the police and filing a report, as it will be incredibly helpful in arguing your case later down the road.
While still at the scene you should exchange contact and insurance information with the driver, talk to witnesses, and take pictures of your injuries, the vehicle that hit you, and the surrounding area. Once you’ve collected this information, you should head to the hospital for treatment. Even if you don’t believe that you’ve been injured, it’s still important to receive medical attention as some injuries may be masked by adrenaline.
Before you contact your insurance company to file a claim, you should contact an attorney to discuss your possible case. Doing this before filing a claim can help prevent you from damaging your case by signing a waiver or accepting money from the at-fault party’s insurance company.
If You’ve Been Injured in a Pedestrian Accident, Contact an Experienced Attorney
If you or someone you love has been injured in a pedestrian accident, please contact our experienced team of attorneys for a free evaluation of your case. Our attorneys have years of experience working on pedestrian accident cases, and we’re ready to help you get the compensation and justice that you deserve. For more information, please contact us online or through our chat feature or call us at 727-571-1333.