No one expects to be involved in an accident when they’re simply walking down the street, but pedestrian accidents are surprisingly common.
Despite their lower speed, pedestrians can still suffer from severe injuries or fatalities due to collisions with cars, buses, bikes, and other pedestrians.
Understanding common types of pedestrian accidents and preventive measures are essential for ensuring your safety as a pedestrian — let’s dive into what you need to know about staying safe on foot.
Types of pedestrian accidents and causes
Backup accidents are a common type of pedestrian accident that typically occur when a vehicle driven in reverse is unaware of a pedestrian who has suddenly entered the reversing path of the car.
Even though backup camera technology provides additional precautions for drivers, it is important to remember that visibility can be significantly impaired due to weather conditions, poor lighting, or distractions for drivers and pedestrians.
To reduce the chances of a backup accident, it is essential for drivers to frequently check their area behind the car before driving in reverse and for pedestrians to be aware at all times whenever they are near a reversing vehicle.
Distracted Driver Accidents
One of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents is distracted driving. Distracted driving is any activity that takes a driver’s attention away from the road. This can include talking on the phone, texting, eating, or even talking to passengers.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving was responsible for 3,142 lives in 2020.
Drunk Driving Accidents
Another common cause of pedestrian accidents is drunk driving. Drunk drivers are much more likely to be involved in accidents than sober drivers, as they have impaired judgment and slowed reaction times. Alcohol is involved in about 49% of pedestrian fatalities each year.
Speeding is another major cause of pedestrian accidents. When drivers exceed the posted speed limit, they have less time to react to potential hazards, including pedestrians.
Speeding is also more likely to result in a fatal accident, as pedestrians are more likely to be seriously injured or killed when hit by a speeding vehicle.
Jaywalking is when a pedestrian crosses the street outside a designated crosswalk. It is illegal in most states and can result in a fine if caught. It can also be dangerous, as it increases the risk of being hit by a car, as drivers may not expect pedestrians to be crossing the street outside a crosswalk.
Drunk walking is when a pedestrian has been drinking alcohol and is impaired. Drunk walking can be extremely dangerous as it increases the risk of being hit by a car or falling and injuring yourself. If you are drunk and need to walk somewhere, it is important to have a sober friend who can help ensure you stay safe.
How to avoid pedestrian accidents
Always use the sidewalk or designated crosswalk when possible when walking on roads, and remain visible with reflective clothing or lights in dark areas.
Be especially cautious at intersections and look both ways before crossing. Pay attention to your surroundings and avoid using electronic devices while crossing the street.
Lastly, check the speed limit of any area you plan to walk in and ensure drivers have enough time to stop before entering a crosswalk.
Taking these steps can help reduce your risk of a pedestrian accident.
What to do if you are involved in a pedestrian accident
If you are ever unfortunate enough to be involved in a pedestrian accident, it is important to remain calm and collected.
Seek medical assistance for any injuries that may have been sustained, and contact the police soon after. Make sure to note any details of the incident while they are still fresh in your mind, and take down all information from any witnesses or individuals involved at the scene.
When engaging with other parties associated with the incident, be courteous and polite while asserting your rights.
Seek legal representation or advice as soon as possible.
Legal and financial consequences
Pedestrian accidents can have significant legal and financial consequences for those involved.
Depending on the circumstances, the pedestrian may be found partly or fully liable for the accident if they violated a traffic law or crossing regulations.
Furthermore, the driver’s or pedestrian’s insurance company must address medical bills related to the accident. If uninsured, these costs will ultimately fall onto the shoulders of those injured or needing medical treatment.
Ultimately, all parties should exercise due caution when navigating roads, as even minor infractions have an inherent risk of serious injury with long-term financial ramifications.
Pedestrian accidents can be devastating, and the victims often suffer significant physical, emotional, and financial suffering.
The team at Terhovsepian Law understands this too well, which is why they are dedicated to giving pedestrian accident victims aggressive and professional representation when bringing a personal injury case against negligence.
With years of experience, we understand the legal complexities surrounding pedestrian crash injury claims and will give each case the attention it deserves.
Our focus is to ensure that their clients are compensated for the tragic consequences of pedestrian accidents and receive closure for any lingering struggles due to negligence. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.
Understanding common types of pedestrian accidents and preventive measures is essential for ensuring your safety as a pedestrian.
Being aware of the dangers around you and taking precautions can help reduce your chances of being involved in an accident. If you or someone you love has been injured in a pedestrian accident, contact our experienced personal injury lawyers today for a free consultation.