In the United States, there are 75,000 pedestrian accidents each year, resulting in more than 4,000 annual fatalities. It shouldn’t surprise anyone to hear the driver of a vehicle is almost always liable in an accident involving a pedestrian. Even the negligence of a pedestrian in his or her actions is likely to remove full culpability from the driver.
Safer Walking Suggestions
Pedestrian accidents are particularly tragic, as the size, weight, and power differential between a pedestrian and a motor vehicle is massive. Pedestrians always lose in these battles. That said, if you are a frequent walker, whether to work or for leisure, there are some things you can do to be safer when you are sharing space with cars, trucks, and motorcycles.
Pedestrians are advised to avoid distractions, such as phones or radios, and especially to avoid wearing headphones if you are running or walking anywhere near traffic. Always remove headphones when approaching streets and while crossing roadways. You should also cross in places where cars expect to see pedestrians, such as in crosswalks. Use sidewalks when available, and when they are not, walk on the shoulder of the road while facing traffic. Big no-nos include wearing dark clothing or walking near roadways while under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Most Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Even if you follow all of these suggestions, you may still be involved in an accident. As mentioned earlier, pedestrians are not the ones most in control of preventing pedestrian-car accidents. We do know, however, what drivers and driver behaviors are most likely to result in accidents.
By far, the riskiest groups of drivers are those who are new or inexperienced behind the wheel. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is one of many organizations whose research shows 16-19 year-olds to be responsible for more accidents than other age groups. They are most likely to instigate an accident due to one of three critical errors: failure to appropriately scan for hazards, driving too fast for road conditions, and distracted driving.
For obvious reasons, failing to make a full stop at intersections and walkways poses a common injury risk to pedestrians. A full stop is necessary to allow drivers to thoroughly observe their immediate environment and see any pedestrians who may be walking into the road. Not only can a failure to make a full stop result in an accident with a person who is walking or running, but it can also result in a serious car crash with another vehicle.
U-Turns are not allowed in areas where speed/direction of traffic or low visibility make the practice unsafe. It may seem like no big deal, but illegal u-turns are dangerous for drivers and pedestrians alike.
In many communities, school buses have gone by the wayside. This has resulted in new driving dangers in congested school zones. The impact? Failures to follow school zone driving rules and policies have left numerous children and adults injured. At times, these accidents can be fatal.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, the Kentucky personal injury law firm of Rhoads & Rhoads is ready to provide you the legal support you need to ensure you are able to recover successfully and without undue financial stress. We never collect fees unless your case is won or settled, and we provide a completely free initial consultation. Call us today to hear more about how we can help: 888-709-9329.