Pedestrian accidents can be very serious. Even cars driving at low speeds can cause severe injuries or even death if they hit a pedestrian. Both motorists and pedestrians must remain on high alert for each other in order to prevent such tragic accidents from occurring. While one might assume that most pedestrian accidents occur at intersections, this actually is not the case. Here is what you need to know about pedestrian accidents and where they are most common.
What Is A Pedestrian?
Some people may assume that a pedestrian is simply someone who is walking or running alongside a road. In truth, pedestrians are defined as anyone on foot who was either moving, sitting, or lying down. If someone had rollerblades, a skateboard, or another type of personal conveyance, they are typically not considered a pedestrian.
What Type Of Pedestrian Is Most At Risk?
In most cases, pedestrian accidents are the fault of the motorist. There are some factors that can increase a pedestrian’s likelihood for being involved in an accident. Some of the information that the NHSTA reports indicate the following demographics as being at higher risk:
- Children 14 and under
- Older adults
- Pedestrians who are under the influence
Where Do Most Pedestrian Accidents Occur?
When you hear pedestrian accident, it’s likely that you assume that most such accidents would occur at intersections. This actually is not the case. Most pedestrian accidents occur at night, in urban areas, on parts of the road where there are no intersections.
This could be because motorists generally know to watch out for pedestrians at intersections. When they expect someone to be there, there is lowered risk of an accident occurring. However, this is not to say that accidents do not occur at intersections. The NHTSA reports that 17% of pedestrian accidents happen at intersections, most often when motorists fail to yield or do not watch for pedestrians.
Surprisingly, more pedestrian accidents occur during normal weather conditions, with only about 11% of accidents occurring during inclement weather. This could be because motorists are already driving more carefully when the weather is bad, and could be more reckless and negligent when weather conditions are normal.
Who Is More Likely To Be At Fault In A Pedestrian Accident?
This very much depends on the specific situation. In most cases, the motorist is at fault for a pedestrian accident. Even in cases where a pedestrian was jaywalking, a motorist typically has more liability, due to the dangers cars present to pedestrians. However, this is not always the case.
Pedestrians need to be mindful of motorists and ensure that they are taking proper safety precautions, such as by wearing brightly colored clothing and watching for vehicles. If a pedestrian jumps out in front of a moving car, they did not automatically have the right of way, but engaged in reckless behavior that could harm themselves and the motorist, as well as any passengers in the vehicle.
What Factors Increase The Likelihood Of A Pedestrian Accident?
Most pedestrian accidents occur in traffic zones in urban areas when it is nighttime. Given that motorists have lower visibility at night and that there tend to be more drivers and more pedestrians in urban areas, it is not hard to see why.
Some of the factors that can increase the likelihood of an accident include:
- Distracted driving
- Impaired driving
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Failing to signal when turning
- Failing to obey traffic signs and signals
- Failing to adjust driving to weather and traffic conditions
There are more than those, but these are among the most common factors that increase the likelihood of an accident.
What Can You Do To Prevent An Accident?
This depends on whether you are a driver or a motorist.
You must remain vigilant and alert. You must obey traffic laws and signs, and yield the right of way. You must not drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. You must not become distracted by your phone, food, drink, passengers, the radio, or something else. You must ensure that you are driving safely and carefully and that you adjust your driving according to current weather and traffic conditions.
You must ensure that you are visible and act in a predictable manner. Reflective clothing and flashlights make you more visible at night, which can decrease the likelihood of an accident. You must remain aware of your surroundings. Avoid jaywalking. Walk on sidewalks instead of the road. If you must walk on the road, ensure that you are facing oncoming traffic so that drivers can more easily see you.
Have You Been Victim To A Pedestrian Accident?
LeBaron & Jensen can help you achieve justice. Schedule a free, no-obligation case consultation, and let us help you determine whether you are eligible for compensation. Contact us today for more information about how we can help you with legal representation.