Many pedestrians walk because it’s a healthier option, but is it safer? According to the data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), walking is dangerous. In 2017, 5,977 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents. Although drivers are responsible for their actions behind the wheel, many pedestrian accidents are legally ruled to have been caused by the pedestrian themselves too. Here are some reasons why pedestrian accidents happen and ways to prevent them.
Improper use of lanes
In a recent study by the Governors Highway Safety Association, the majority of all pedestrian accidents occur on the sidewalk. More than two-thirds of these involve a cyclist. Bike riders can collide with a pedestrian or force them onto a busy intersection with heavy traffic. Also, sidewalks are sometimes not available at all, so both bicyclists and pedestrians must use the road. This can be dangerous because many drivers do not pay attention.
Unmarked crosswalks cause accidents
Street intersections have become a major hot spot for pedestrian accidents. They are becoming more difficult to hold traffic because more people are living in cities. Local governments try to add extra signal lights and clearly marked pedestrian crosswalks to reduce the number of accidents. It isn’t a coincidence that a majority of these new features are near busy places like malls, as these sites attract many people. But, this means that less busy intersections and crosswalks may become neglected.
Even if you create more crosswalks or add more signal lights, pedestrians still aren’t immune to being hit by a vehicle. Three times more pedestrian accidents occur when a car is making a left-hand turn. This type of pedestrian accident is typically caused by both parties not paying attention. According to most pedestrian car wreck reports, the driver claims to be distracted by negotiating oncoming traffic. The pedestrian claims to be looking straight ahead, expecting the driver to follow the rules of the road.
Some local government officials feel the “no-texting” law should be expanded beyond drivers. This is because more and more people are using electronic devices, even while walking. This could include using a cellphone or a listening device.
Quiet hybrid automobiles
In this age of becoming more respectful of the environment, greener vehicles like battery-operated hybrids are becoming popular. Unfortunately, the majority of these cars are too quiet, so the number of pedestrian accidents with hybrid automobiles has increased. In fact, these vehicles are 40 percent more likely to be involved in a pedestrian accident. This number increases by 50 percent on residential streets.
Wearing dark clothing
Nearly 50 percent of all pedestrian accidents have taken place on the weekend and that number increases to 75 percent during the evening and nighttime hours. The main reason for this high number is that too many people are wearing dark clothes at night, which isn’t ideal if you’re walking near a road. Authorities suggest nighttime pedestrians should wear more light clothing that allows drivers to spot them on the road, especially in poorly lit areas. If you’re wearing dark clothing, then it might be wise to use a flashlight when walking.
Alcohol consumption & pedestrian accidents
No doubt alcohol consumption plays a major role in pedestrian accidents. Either side can be the cause of the accident. In 2016, 33 percent of all fatally-injured pedestrians had a blood alcohol level of at least 0.08 percent. The same data showed intoxicated drivers were the responsible party in 13 percent of all pedestrian accidents.
How fault is found in pedestrian accidents
Proof of negligence must be shown if a pedestrian is going to recover damages for the injuries sustained in an accident. To establish negligence, the injured party must prove how the driver was at fault for causing the crash. However, there may be more than one party responsible for a pedestrian accident. Other potential liable parties include government officials, property owners, and the pedestrian themselves.
A car accident lawyer can help you after an accident. These professionals are familiar with the laws in your state and city and know exactly how to determine fault. Both drivers and pedestrians have duty of care, which means both must follow certain laws and rules before and after a wreck. These include calling the police after an accident, never leaving the scene, and gathering relevant information.
Some tips for preventing pedestrian accidents
Both drivers and pedestrians can help prevent accidents from happening. The following are seven tips to help you stay safe on the road whether you are walking, jogging, riding a bike, or driving.
- Wear light colored clothing.
- Always pay attention to your surroundings.
- Follow all laws and rules of the road.
- Cross only at designated areas, where drivers are more prepared to look for you.
- Drivers, ALWAYS be on the lookout for pedestrians.
- Watch for cars at intersections, especially at night.
- Do not use drugs or alcohol while driving or walking.
Do you need a car accident lawyer?
Pedestrian Accidents are all too common in Texas and New Mexico. If you have been hit by a negligent driver, contact Attorney Dean Boyd and his caring team today. You can call us at (806) 242-3333 or Contact Us via email to learn more about our Services. You can also visit our offices at 4423 SW 45th Avenue in Amarillo, Texas or 10623 Quaker Ave #102 in Lubbock, Texas for more information.