Thousands of people are injured or killed in pedestrian accidents annually. But what are the most common causes of these tragic accidents?
Who Is At Highest Risk For Pedestrian Accidents?
The CDC reports that almost 50% of pedestrian fatalities in car accidents involved drugs or alcohol use by the driver or victim. One out of three deadly pedestrian accidents involved someone with a .08 percent blood-alcohol concentration (BAC).
Pedestrians aged 65 and older make up 20 percent of pedestrian fatalities, while children under the age of 15 make up another 20 percent.
Studies also show that higher car speeds increase the chances of a pedestrian accident, as well as severe injury. The vast majority of pedestrian fatalities happen in large cities and at night.
Distracted driving accidents happen often these days, as more driver and pedestrian eyes are glued to electronic mobile devices.
While texting and driving are illegal in most states, it still happens all the time. All it takes is a driver to take their eyes from the road for two seconds for a tragedy to happen.
When crossing the street, always look for distracted drivers who may not see you. And remember, as a pedestrian, you also can cause an accident by being distracted. If that happens, your settlement could be lower than you expected.
When a car driver makes a left turn, they need to cross the opposite lane of traffic. It's a more complex maneuver than a left turn, as it involves them looking at oncoming vehicles. They may forget to watch for pedestrians.
If you are crossing the street at an intersection, take note if there is a driver making a left turn that will cross your path. Even if you have the right of way, the driver may be in a hurry and hit you.
If you're a pedestrian hit by a car turning left, you should get immediate medical attention. Then, contact an experienced pedestrian accident attorney.
Snow, rain, fog, and sleet can ruin visibility for drivers and make it harder to see pedestrians. While many people try not to go outside when the weather goes south, sometimes we still need to get somewhere on foot.
Drivers need to slow down and use extra caution in bad weather. It's hard to see other cars and pedestrians, and slick roads may require longer stopping distances.
Jaywalking is crossing the road outside of a crosswalk. This is illegal in many states, but laws in your area may vary.
If there is a crosswalk nearby, it's important to use it. If you cross the street outside of an available crosswalk, you could run into problems in a pedestrian accident claim.
The defense attorney will argue that you were at least partially responsible for the accident. If that argument wins, you could receive less money or nothing at all.
However, there have been pedestrian accident cases where the walker was partially at fault and still received a considerable settlement. It largely comes down to the skill and expertise of your attorney.
Many pedestrians don't think about how dark clothing can make them harder to see. This is an especially big problem at night. Always assume that drivers can't see you if you are walking at night in dark clothing.
If you cannot put on light colors, at least have a blinking light or flashlight so drivers can see you.
Pedestrian accidents are common in the United States, but being forewarned about their causes can help keep you safe.