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Montgomery & Bucks County Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Pedestrian Accidents and Their Causes

What are the causes of pedestrian accidents?

Pedestrian accidents appear to be becoming more and more frequent. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported 4,735 pedestrian fatalities (14 percent of all traffic fatalities) in 2013. In addition, 150,000 pedestrians were injured severely enough to seek medical treatment during that same year. If you or a loved is a victim of a pedestrian accident, once you are able to, you should contact a first-rate personal injury attorney to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.

Why are there so many pedestrian accidents?

Many factors contribute to pedestrian accidents. Some are attributable to the drivers; some to the pedestrians themselves. There are also other general conditions that may contribute to pedestrian accidents, such as bad weather conditions, poorly lit roadways, wild animals or other obstacles in the road.

Reasons drivers are responsible for pedestrian accidents include:

  • Distracted driving or inattention
  • Speeding and/or driving recklessly
  • Failing to yield the right of way to pedestrians at crosswalks
  • Disobeying traffic signs or signals
  • Failing to signal while turning
  • Disregarding weather or traffic conditions
  • Driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol

Reasons drivers are responsible for pedestrian accidents include:

  • Distracted driving or inattention
  • Speeding and/or driving recklessly
  • Failing to yield the right of way to pedestrians at crosswalks
  • Disobeying traffic signs or signals
  • Failing to signal while turning
  • Disregarding weather or traffic conditions
  • Driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol

Ways in which pedestrians contribute to their own injuries may include:

  • Ignoring "walk" or "don't walk" signals
  • Entering moving traffic
  • Failing to cross at crosswalks
  • Darting in front of a vehicle
  • Being intoxicated or drug-impaired

Location also plays an important role in pedestrian accidents. Facts well worth noting are that:

  • 73 percent of pedestrian accidents occur in urban areas
  • 69 percent happen at non-intersections
  • 72 percent happen at night

Clearly, limited visibility and unexpected appearances of pedestrians are factors in pedestrian accidents. The highest number of such accidents occurs between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., presumably when it is, for much of the year, dusk or dark, and during which there is heavy traffic.

Some of the most revealing statistics concerning pedestrian accidents have to do with age and gender of victims. It may not surprise you to learn that children, who tend to be more reckless, and the elderly, who tend to have slower reflexes and lessened mobility, are at greater risk of being involved in pedestrian accidents or that in 49 percent of reported pedestrian accidents, either the driver or the pedestrian was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the collision. What you may not expect, though, is the fact that 66 percent of pedestrian fatalities are male.

What should you do if you're involved in a pedestrian accident?

Whether or not you are injured, and whether or not you are the pedestrian, you should remain at the scene of the accident, call the police immediately, and wait for help to arrive. If possible, get the names and contact information of any witnesses to the event and the license plate number of any offending vehicles. Be sure to be thoroughly examined by a medical professional since sometimes you may not be immediately aware of internal injuries.

Remember that, regardless of the actual circumstances of the accident, the other party or parties may try to blame you for negligence or even malicious intent. Give a full report of the incident to the police but do not assume any responsibility for the accident through a misguided sense of compassion or fairness. Consult with a trustworthy, knowledgeable personal injury attorney who specializes in pedestrian accidents to make sure that you will be well-compensated for your medical costs, your loss of wages, and your pain and suffering.


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