Pedestrian accidents can be scary. Pedestrians aren’t offered the same protections as motor vehicle drivers. While motor vehicle drivers may be protected or inhibited by their vehicle when they collide with other motor vehicles, pedestrians don’t have any protection, not even a helmet.
Without vital protection, pedestrians can incur horrible and life-changing injuries due to a driver’s negligence.
How often are pedestrians hit by cars in the United States?
In the United States, there were 5,977 pedestrians killed in traffic crashes in 2017. That amounts to approximately one death every 88 minutes. On top of that, 137,000 pedestrians were treated in emergency rooms for non-fatal injuries in the same year.
In comparison, there are approximately 38,000 car accident fatalities each year, with an additional 4.4 million injuries requiring medical attention.
What are common causes of pedestrian accidents?
There are many reasons why pedestrian accidents occur, and they can be because of various parties’ negligence. For example, drivers may be negligent if they’re texting while driving or driving under the influence. A pedestrian could be liable for their own accident if they weren’t following proper road rules.
People who walk more often are more at risk for pedestrian accidents. Unfortunately, this means that poor citizens (including the homeless) are much more at risk. If you don’t have a car and you’re required to walk to work or to get groceries, you’re at more of a risk than someone who goes on a walk every once in a while.
Failure to yield right of way
Some people may believe that pedestrians have the right of way at all times, but that is not the case. When crossing the street at a crosswalk, pedestrians must yield to drivers, who have the right of way in these situations.
It’s the pedestrian’s duty to check to make sure a vehicle isn’t approaching before crossing the street. It’s the driver’s duty to stop and let a pedestrian cross if someone is waiting (if they’re able to). If they’re unable to stop because they’re driving too fast—that’s okay.
Improperly crossing a road somewhere other than a designated crosswalk
As a pedestrian, you should always cross the road at the designated spot. Crosswalks are designed for your safety, and ignoring them to walk elsewhere may only be a danger to you. Walking across multi-lane streets or streets with heavy traffic is always a bad idea.
Drivers may not see you trying to cross as they would at a crosswalk (as that’s where you’re intended to cross and where drivers are trained to look for pedestrians), and this may cause an accident to occur.
Driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol has a huge impact on one’s ability to drive properly. They may not notice a pedestrian in the crosswalk because they’re too distracted by traffic lights.
When driving drunk, it can be tough to focus on everything happening around you, leading to a decreased ability to multitask (watching the road, operating the vehicle, and monitoring one’s speed) and, in turn, a decreased ability to operate a motor vehicle properly.
Standing, lying, playing, or working in a roadway
Accidents happen when adults (or children) act inappropriately in the street. Playing, lying, standing, or working in a roadway can cause an accident if you aren’t careful. Even if you are careful, you should never lie, play, work, or stand in traffic. You never know what could happen.
You can monitor your own safety, but it’s impossible to monitor how safe the drivers in your area are. Personal injury lawyers may not take on your case if you’re injured while playing in the street as you could be liable for the accident.
Poor visibility or night walking
If an area isn’t well lit, or you’re walking at night, you should always make sure that you’re wearing reflective clothing that allows you to be seen by vehicles. Reflecting clothing will work evening the darkest areas, as the driver’s headlights will reflect off of your clothing, allowing them to see you.
If you’re walking on an unlit street in dark clothing, you could get struck by a vehicle. The driver could still be at fault for the accident, but it’s best to protect yourself than it is to worry about a lawsuit.
Driver distracted by cell phone and unable to respond to pedestrian
Nowadays, using a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle is incredibly dangerous. Drivers not only talk on their phones and text. But there are a variety of different apps available to them. With people’s constant need to be entertained, apps like TikTok and Youtube are becoming more prevalently used in moving vehicles.
These apps take one’s attention off the road and can cause an accident. If a driver uses a cell phone, they may not see a pedestrian in a crosswalk with enough time to stop their vehicle and avoid an accident.
Pedestrian Fatalities Due to Car Accident Injuries
Pedestrian fatalities do occur and may occur at the scene of the accident or later on down the line because of injuries associated with the accident. Injuries such as traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries, internal injuries, and more can cause wrongful death.
If someone you love has passed away because of injuries associated with a car accident or pedestrian accident, you may be able to file a lawsuit on their behalf.
Why should I hire a pedestrian accident attorney?
Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents happen, and there’s nothing we can do to stop them altogether. However, as a pedestrian, you can take precautions that will lower your risk. If you’re following all safety precautions and were still hit by a motor vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation.
Hiring a pedestrian accident attorney will allow you to rest, relax, and recover from your injuries while your attorney works on putting together your case. They’ll handle insurance companies on your behalf and help monitor your health along the way.
Here at Sand Law, we have years of experience working on pedestrian accident and car accident cases. Our talented personal injury attorneys will be able to get you the compensation you deserve.