Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrian accidents occur when a pedestrian, someone on foot, is involved in a collision with a vehicle, bicycle, or other object. These accidents often result in serious injuries or fatalities due to the vulnerability of pedestrians in comparison to larger vehicles. Understanding how pedestrian accidents happen is crucial for both pedestrians and drivers to prevent these incidents and promote safety on the road.

Causes Of Pedestrian Accidents

  • Distracted Driving: One of the leading causes of pedestrian accidents is distracted driving. When drivers are distracted by activities such as texting, talking on the phone, adjusting the radio, or using GPS devices, their attention is diverted from the road, increasing the risk of collisions with pedestrians.
  • Failure to Yield: Drivers may fail to yield the right of way to pedestrians, especially at crosswalks, intersections, and pedestrian crossings. This can occur due to driver inattention, impatience, or disregard for traffic laws.
  • Speeding: Excessive speed reduces a driver’s ability to react to unexpected situations, such as pedestrians crossing the road. Speeding increases the likelihood of accidents and the severity of injuries sustained by pedestrians.
  • Impaired Driving: Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs impairs a driver’s judgment, coordination, and reaction time, making them more likely to collide with pedestrians. Impaired drivers may fail to notice pedestrians or misjudge their speed and distance.
  • Poor Visibility: Pedestrian accidents are more common in low-light conditions, such as at night or during inclement weather, when visibility is reduced. Poorly lit areas, obscured crosswalks, and inadequate street lighting contribute to accidents involving pedestrians.
  • Failure to Obey Traffic Signals: Pedestrian accidents often occur when drivers fail to obey traffic signals, stop signs, or traffic control devices. Running red lights, making illegal turns, and disregarding pedestrian signals can lead to collisions with pedestrians.
  • Drowsy Driving: Fatigued or drowsy drivers have impaired cognitive function and reduced reaction times, increasing the risk of accidents with pedestrians. Drowsy driving is particularly prevalent during late-night hours and long-distance travel.
  • Inadequate Infrastructure: Unsafe road conditions, poorly designed intersections, lack of sidewalks, and insufficient pedestrian crossings contribute to pedestrian accidents. Inadequate infrastructure fails to provide safe spaces for pedestrians to walk, increasing their exposure to traffic hazards.

Preventing Pedestrian Accidents

  • Stay Alert: Pedestrians should remain vigilant and alert while walking near roadways, especially in high-traffic areas. Avoid distractions such as texting or wearing headphones that can impair awareness of surroundings.
  • Use Designated Crosswalks: Pedestrians should always use designated crosswalks and pedestrian crossings when crossing the street. Wait for the signal to indicate it is safe to cross, and make eye contact with drivers to ensure they see you.
  • Follow Traffic Laws: Drivers must obey speed limits, stop signs, traffic signals, and yield to pedestrians at crosswalks. Be prepared to stop for pedestrians, especially in areas with heavy foot traffic.
  • Advocate for Safe Infrastructure: Communities should invest in safe infrastructure, including well-marked crosswalks, pedestrian signals, sidewalks, and traffic-calming measures, to protect pedestrians and reduce the risk of accidents.

Legal Assistance

Pedestrian accidents are often preventable with increased awareness, adherence to traffic laws, and investment in safe infrastructure. By understanding the common causes of pedestrian accidents and taking proactive measures to promote pedestrian safety, pedestrians and drivers can work together to prevent accidents and create safer streets for everyone. Vigilance, caution, and respect for the rights of pedestrians are essential for reducing the incidence of pedestrian accidents and protecting vulnerable road users from harm. If you have been involved in this type of accident it may be worth your while to speak with a pedestrian accident lawyer from a firm like Siegal & Richardson, LLP for assistance with legal matters.