You hear this story on the news all the time. A pedestrian was injured or killed in a motor vehicle accident. It’s been happening since Americans began driving cars, and each accident is a reminder of how you can never be too careful.
When you hear about an accident involving a pedestrian, your first questions are probably Where and How? It’s human nature to be curious, and we want to know how to avoid such an accident ourselves.
Californians especially should take note. Multiple California cities have ranked in the top 100 most dangerous cities for pedestrians, including Los Angeles and San Francisco. Pedestrian deaths have increased in the state by 35% since 2008.
All citizens have the duty to put safety first when traveling. Practicing better traffic safety begins with education. Let’s start by looking at the top causes and locations of pedestrian accidents to understand better where the risks lie and how to prevent these tragedies.
Top Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
No accidents are intentional, but, as we’ll see, most pedestrian accidents are caused by someone’s conscious decision. It takes just one momentary lapse in judgment to create a disaster.
For instance, in the US, 47% of collisions that caused a pedestrian death involved a driver who had been drinking, and 33% involved a pedestrian who had been drinking. Other poor decisions that can lead to pedestrian accidents include:
- Distracted driving, often from cell phone use
- Not looking in all directions while backing up
- Not watching for pedestrians when making a left-hand turn
- Running a red light or stop sign
Of course, it’s not always the driver’s fault. Pedestrians put themselves in danger when they:
- Are distracted by their phone
- Assume a driver in reverse can see them
- Step in front of a fast, oncoming vehicle
- Wear dark clothes at night
Sometimes conditions create hazards for pedestrians that are no one’s fault but require everyone to take extra precautions. Pedestrians are more likely to be hit due to:
- Nighttime darkness
- Reduced vision in inclement weather
- Slippery road conditions
- Difficulty seeing a short pedestrian, such as a child
- Trouble stopping for a slower pedestrian, such as a senior citizen
Traffic accidents are not something to take lightly. Both drivers and pedestrians should take every precaution during travel to prevent these kinds of accidents.
Top Locations of Pedestrian Accidents
When you picture the scene of a pedestrian accident, you probably imagine an intersection. Intersections are one of the most common spots for car crashes but rank lower for pedestrian collisions. That’s because:
- Drivers anticipate pedestrians crossing at intersections.
- Stop signs and traffic lights stop traffic long enough for pedestrians to cross.
- Many intersections are outfitted with crosswalks and crossing signals to help pedestrians cross safely.
In truth, most pedestrian deaths and injuries occur at non-intersection locations where drivers are less likely to see them. This includes:
- Open roads where drivers are going full-speed and do not expect pedestrians
- Parking lots where there are no clear walkways for pedestrians
- Driveways where drivers struggle to see pedestrians behind them
Pedestrians and drivers should always be on the lookout for each other, but pedestrians must recognize that it is more difficult for drivers to see or stop for them at certain locations and use extra caution here.
What To Do If You Are Hit by a Car
Despite everyone’s best efforts, there will always be accidents. So what do you do if you are struck by a moving vehicle? Presuming you are conscious, take these steps:
- Move out of danger to avoid being hit again.
- Call 911 for police and medical help.
- Collect names and contact information from witnesses.
- Get contact and insurance information from the driver.
- Take pictures of the scene, vehicle, and your injuries.
- Give a statement to the police.
- Seek immediate medical treatment.
- Contact a personal injury lawyer before accepting an insurance offer.
After an accident, it can be difficult to process what happened. You might be tempted to accept the first insurance offer you receive and move on. However, many pedestrian “accidents” originate from someone’s negligence. If you have medical bills and pain and suffering from a traffic accident, you are probably entitled to further compensation.
We Can Help
Are you ready to start the road to recovery? As a victim of a pedestrian accident, you have rights and can seek compensation from individuals who have caused you injury. Contact Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers today for your free case evaluation. Our customer-focused team of attorneys are experts at getting you the solid settlement you deserve.