Among the many modes of transportation, individuals often opt for walking. Walking is a fantastic option to get where you need to go while also getting some exercise. While the law tries to protect pedestrians, accidents involving pedestrians are still commonplace. If you’re wondering what the common causes of pedestrian accidents include, learning the answer can help you stay safe or decide how to proceed with a personal injury case.
What Is a Pedestrian Accident?
Pedestrian accidents refer to collisions involving a vehicle hitting a pedestrian. These accidents occur for several reasons and often result in extensive injuries for victims.
A pedestrian accident is typically worse than other types of collisions because pedestrian victims are prone to suffering more severe injuries. Victims have no protection if they’re struck by a vehicle, making it nearly impossible for pedestrians to avoid sustaining injury.
As a pedestrian victim, you have the right to pursue financial recovery for the injuries and losses resulting from your accident. Depending on the at-fault party, you can file a third-party car insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit. Either can help you hold the responsible party accountable and obtain the recovery you need.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents occur for many different reasons. These accidents typically involve driver negligence. Some of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents are as follows.
Distracted driving is one of the leading common causes of pedestrian accidents, from pedestrian accidents to vehicle collisions. Operating a vehicle requires full attention to prevent crashes and keep everyone on the road free from harm.
Visual distractions involve taking your eyes off the road. Taking your eyes off the road for one second can have devastating consequences. Common examples of visual distractions include texting, changing the song, or looking for a fallen object.
Manual distractions are those that take either one or both hands off the steering wheel. On the road, both hands must be free and available to steer. Manual distractions like eating and grooming can cause you to take your hands off the wheel for extended periods.
Finally, cognitive distractions involve those that take your mind away from driving. Not only are eyes on the road and hands on the wheel critical, but so is your attention on the task at hand. Cognitive distractions could include daydreaming, talking to someone on the phone, or even driving while fatigued.
Driving Under the Influence
Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is not only dangerous but illegal. Therefore, when an impaired driver causes an accident, they face civil liability and criminal penalties.
Impaired driving affects a person’s ability to operate a vehicle safely and responsibly. For example, substances impact decision-making and slow reaction times. Additionally, impaired drivers may be more likely to drive aggressively or recklessly.
Unsafe Turns are Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
An unsafe turn is one of the common causes of pedestrian accidents. Making a turn, either left or right, requires drivers to slow down and look before completing the action.
When making a right turn, even if a driver has the green light, the individual must look and yield to pedestrians crossing the road. Left turns cause pedestrian accidents because drivers tend to look for oncoming traffic but not for pedestrians crossing the road.
A rolling stop refers to a driver failing to make a complete stop at a stop sign.
One of the first rules of the road student drivers learn is to make complete stops when reaching a stop sign. You must stop behind the sign, look both ways and then proceed through. Unfortunately, drivers tend to forget this rule, instead opting for rolling stops.
When a driver makes a rolling stop, they increase their chances of hitting a pedestrian. This is especially true when the pedestrian is already in the middle of crossing the street or proceeds to cross the street, believing the vehicle will stop and wait.
Speeding is also one of the top common causes of pedestrian accidents and other types of accidents, pedestrian accidents included. This type of aggressive driving behavior comes with several consequences, including increasing stopping time and distance and causing more extensive damage and injury in an accident due to the massive force of impact.
Drivers tend to speed for many reasons, especially when trying to get to destinations faster or experiencing road rage. No matter the excuse, speeding is never a good idea, as it can increase the likelihood of hitting innocent pedestrians.
Failure to Yield Right-of-Way
States provide laws regarding right-of-way rules, especially when it comes to pedestrians. Drivers have a duty to yield the right-of-way in several situations to allow pedestrians to cross the street safely.
When a driver fails to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian and causes an accident, they can face civil liability and criminal consequences.
Hit and Runs are Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian hit-and-run accidents refer to a driver striking a pedestrian with their vehicle and failing to stop. Instead, the driver flees the scene of the accident without rendering aid or giving the victim their information.
Hit-and-run accidents are illegal, as laws require drivers to stop after a collision. Drivers often flee for fear of the repercussions they may face, but leaving the scene of an accident will always result in more severe penalties if and when authorities find the driver. If a pedestrian is hit by a car he can pursue financial compensation
Rely on the Assistance of a Pedestrian Accident Attorney
There are many common causes of pedestrian accidents. Regardless of the reason for your accident, consult with a qualified lawyer. The Personal injury attorney in Baltimore at The Joel Bieber Firm wants to help protect your rights and represent your best interests to pursue fair compensation on your behalf.
There are types of pedestrian negligence and recklessness as well. Drivers are not always liable for pedestrian accidents as well so discuss your case with a personal injury lawyer to understand it.
Contact our office today to request a complimentary consultation on your case.