Year over year, pedestrian deaths are on the rise across the country. The most recent estimates say that around 5,000 people die each year in pedestrian accidents. The Governor’s Highway Safety Association has found that nearly one-fourth of fatal motor vehicle accidents in California involve pedestrians. That is much higher than the national average.
One of the ways we can work to reduce the number of these accidents is to better understand why they happen and to then work to prevent them. It is common for pedestrian accidents to happen in urban areas such as crosswalks, sidewalks, and streets. Pedestrians generally do not have any protection from these accidents and so the results are often catastrophic. They can cause broke bones, spinal cord injuries, traumatic head injuries, and even death.
Children and the elderly are at the highest risk of being affected by pedestrian accidents. In fact, dozens of children die every year from what are known as “backover accidents.” Since some smaller cars make it hard to see if there is a small child behind them, drivers may back over them without realizing it.
The six most common causes of pedestrian accidents
You may be surprised to learn what the top six most common causes of pedestrian accidents are. They include:
- Lack of visibility. This is most common between dusk and dawn or when fog, smog, etc. reduce visibility.
- Alcohol or drug use. According to statistics from the Highway Loss Data Institute, 13% of pedestrian accidents involved citations for drunk driving.
- Distractions. There is no lack of information about how dangerous technology can be when used while drivers are on the road. Yet these accidents happen every day. When it comes to pedestrian accidents, the pedestrians themselves are often distracted by technology and unaware of their surroundings.
- Quieter cars. In the past, it was fairly easy to hear if a car was coming. With newer hybrid and electric cars, they are often very quiet or even silent. This removes one of the essential ways a person knows a car is coming.
- Poorly laid out roads. Left-hand turn accidents are particularly common because the driver and the pedestrian are generally looking in different directions for dangers. Issues with roads that do not offer visibility of the upcoming road can be blamed too.
- Pedestrian mistakes. Crosswalks and walk signs are there for a reason. If pedestrians do not follow them, then they are putting themselves at serious risk.
These are just six examples of the way pedestrian accidents most commonly happen but the sad truth is that they can happen in many ways. If you have been affected by a pedestrian accident then we urge you to contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 for a free legal consultation.