Pedestrians are at an obvious disadvantage when it comes to car accidents. Car drivers are protected by their vehicles, while pedestrians are completely exposed. And unfortunately, pedestrian accidents are all too common. Whether you’re a driver or a pedestrian, it’s important to be aware of the six main causes of pedestrian accidents so that you can either avoid them or know how to react if you’re a victim of one.
1. Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of all types of accidents, and pedestrian accidents are no exception. Drivers who are not paying attention to the road are more likely to suffer a lapse in judgment, leading them to hit pedestrians. Since the outcome can be very traumatic it’s important to know that if you’re injured in a pedestrian accident, there are steps you can take against the negligent driver in order to get compensated. Getting the maximal compensation possible for the accident is important since it can go a long way in helping you pay off the potential medical expenses you might incur. If you’re a driver, on the other hand, it’s important to realize that you can seriously hurt someone, or even worse.
2. Running A Red Light Or Stop Sign
Drivers who run red lights or stop signs are a big contributor to pedestrian accidents. When a driver barrels through a red light or stops sign, they’re not only putting themselves at risk but also the pedestrians crossing the street. In fact, running a red light is one of the leading causes of fatal crashes, meaning that failing to stop when you’re supposed to, is incredibly dangerous. Not only are you risking hitting another car – or even a large vehicle which would put you in physical danger as well, but you’re also risking potential legal consequences which could result in jail time. As a pedestrian, all you can do is always make sure to double-check if there are any vehicles coming your way before you cross the street.
3. Alcohol And Drug Use
Alcohol and drug use is another common cause of pedestrian accidents. That’s because intoxicated drivers are more likely to make poor decisions, fail to see pedestrians crossing the street, or be unable to keep their cars under control when making sharp turns or in slippery weather conditions. As a pedestrian, you can’t really control whether the drivers around you are sober or not. Just like with crossing the street, always try to pay attention to the vehicles around you. If it seems like a driver is under the influence, the best thing you can do is wait for him to pass before crossing. If you’re a driver, it’s important to note that driving under the influence is a felony punishable by law in most places. Driving while drunk doesn’t only put others at risk, but you can cause serious injuries to yourself as well, or suffer legal consequences for your actions.
Speeding is yet another leading cause of accidents in general – with speeding making up a huge percentage of all car accidents. This is also true for pedestrian accidents, as drivers who are going too fast are much less likely to be able to stop in time if they see a pedestrian crossing the street. As a pedestrian, it’s important to remember that cars are not always going to stop for you, even if they’re supposed to. Try to cross the street only when you have a clear view of oncoming traffic, and make yourself visible to drivers as much as possible. If you’re a driver, always obey the speed limit and be aware that pedestrians may be crossing the street even if there doesn’t appear to be anyone around.
5. Poor Visibility
Poor visibility is a killer when it comes to pedestrians. This is because drivers who can’t see well while driving are much more likely to run into a pedestrian crossing the street, or even worse – misjudge their turning radius and end up hitting a pedestrian that was actually on the sidewalk. Whether you’re a driver or a pedestrian, always try to be aware of your surroundings and be as visible as possible. That means wearing bright clothing if you’re walking during the day, and using your hazards when driving in bad weather or at night. If you’re a pedestrian, however, always try to assert that the driver sees you before attempting to cross the street.
6. Passing A Vehicle Near A Pedestrian Crossing
When a driver passes a vehicle too closely near a pedestrian crossing, it can often cause accidents. No matter how the car, or a bus – which is even worse since it seriously affects visibility, is going slowly in front of you as a driver, you should always be mindful if it’s near a pedestrian crossing or not. Just like you might not be able to see a pedestrian in time, neither can they see you – especially since they have the right of passage in this case. Even if you’re in a hurry, you should never pass a vehicle near a pedestrian crossing. Doing so puts both you and the pedestrians in danger.
As a driver, it’s important to be aware of these six main causes of pedestrian accidents. By knowing what to look out for, you can help keep yourself and the pedestrians around you safe on the roads. As a pedestrian, it’s also important to be aware of these dangers and take steps to stay safe while crossing the street, and you should also be aware that there are legal remedies that can be of help to you if you ever get injured in a situation like this.