What are the main causes of pedestrian accidents? Speeding, distracted driving, and driving under the influence are among the most common. Here’s what to know.
It’s an unfortunate fact of life—pedestrians must often share the roadways with automobiles. Despite fewer drivers taking to the road in 2020, pedestrian deaths increased by an astounding 21 percent from the previous year. What this increase in pedestrian fatalities makes clear is that both drivers and pedestrians must practice extra care. Otherwise, these tragic accidents will continue to increase.
Where are pedestrians more likely to be hit by a car?
According to 2019 data from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), the vast majority of pedestrian deaths took place in urban areas. Surprisingly, most pedestrian accidents resulting in death occurred in open traffic, away from intersections. Another significant factor that contributed to pedestrian traffic fatalities was visibility—about 80 percent took place during dark lighting conditions.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
1. Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is a serious problem among drivers that contributes to the number of pedestrian accidents each year. In addition to distraction from texting and other cell phone use while driving, distracted driving includes eating, adjusting sound system controls, applying makeup, and operating a navigation system while driving.
When drivers speed, especially in areas with low speed limits, they are less likely to stop as quickly as they need to. Speeding not only makes it more difficult to stop at critical times—it also increases the chance of serious injury and death for pedestrians if they get hit.
3. Driving Under the Influence
Everyone knows that driving while intoxicated is a serious mistake. But pedestrian consumption of alcohol and other substances also contribute to pedestrian accidents. Driving and walking under the influence increase the likelihood of a pedestrian accident. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a stunning 47 percent of pedestrian deaths involve alcohol use by the driver or pedestrian.
4. Left Turns
Even though the majority of pedestrian car accidents happen on open roadways, intersections are still a risky area if you are walking. For pedestrians crossing the road at an intersection, it is critical to pay attention to drivers who are making a left turn where they are crossing. Pedestrians have the right of way unless the driver has a green arrow.
5. Poor Visibility
Poorly lit streets, heavy rain, fog—whatever the cause, poor visibility is one of the leading causes of pedestrian accidents. For drivers, it is critical to slow down when visibility is low. For pedestrians who are traveling in poor weather or at night, bright, reflective clothing can help keep them safe.
What are the main causes of pedestrian accidents? It’s better to know and prevent an accident than it is to get injured.
Whether you are a driver who wants to know how to prevent a pedestrian accident or a pedestrian who wants to stay safe, knowing these facts is essential.
Have you been struck by a car while you were walking? You need to get expert representation as soon as possible. Get in touch with the attorneys at Pacin Levine, P.A., today so we can give you the guidance you deserve.