Top Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

Collisions with pedestrians are almost always one-sided in terms of  injuries. And they are often caused by the driver due to distraction, speed, and failing to look out for pedestrians. In most cases, drivers are negligent in accidents with pedestrians, though alcohol is a contributing factor to pedestrian-caused accidents with vehicles. Listed below are some of the top ways in which vehicle and pedestrian accidents occur.


Driver Distraction


More and more drivers are using electronic devices behind the wheel. Cell phones are responsible for over a quarter of all traffic accidents. They are dangerous because they take the driver’s focus and eyes off the road while texting, looking up directions, talking, or even answering emails.


Poor Pedestrian Infrastructure


While driving is one of the most dangerous activities we do on a normal basis, being a pedestrian is even more dangerous. Only 11 percent of all trips (discounting distance or time) are taken by foot, according to Ped Bike Info, but pedestrians account for almost 15 percent of fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Many cities, and even more rural areas, do not have proper pedestrian infrastructure to make walking as safe as driving.


Exiting or Entering Vehicle


Everyone is a pedestrian at some point, even drivers just exiting their vehicles. Street parking puts people at risk when they enter or exit their vehicles on the driver’s side, and accounts for a considerable number of pedestrian-vehicle collisions. While the person entering or exiting their vehicle may assume that traffic will see their presence and slow down or pull over accordingly, driver distraction, as mentioned above, is at an all time high.


Vehicles Making Left Turns Across an Intersection


While crosswalks are designed for safety, they are one of the most lethal parts of a pedestrian’s route to work, school, the grocery store, or wherever they are heading. Crosswalks put pedestrians right in the path of drivers that are usually in a hurry. Furthermore, when those drivers are waiting to make a left turn across an intersection, they are most likely not watching out for pedestrians, they are looking at oncoming traffic. Similarly, pedestrians going straight across a street are at risk of vehicles turning right onto that cross street. Even if there is white signal to cross at a crosswalk, pedestrians are still at great risk. Despite the small percentage of space they take up, intersections account for 20 percent of fatal pedestrian accidents.


Low Visibility Times of Day


Seventy-two percent of fatal pedestrian accidents happen at night. Legally, it may be difficult to determine who is at fault during a collision with a pedestrian at night. Drivers have a duty of care to operate their vehicles in a safe and cautious manner, and it may be up to an experienced attorney to prove who is at fault in a tricky scenario such as this. Other factors include alcohol (both for the driver and pedestrian, quiet hybrid or electric cars, and pedestrians walking while distracted by using electronic devices. If you have been injured in a traffic accident, contact an experienced car accident attorney today to discuss your legal options. An attorney in Charlotte can help you recover compensation for your injuries.