5 Top Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Walking shouldn’t be a dangerous activity! Unfortunately, the drivers and bicyclists on the road can make it dangerous. Even if pedestrians are walking on a sidewalk and are following all the rules of the road, they can still be at risk of serious injury or even death just by taking a stroll. That’s true whether they are walking on major thoroughfares or just on the side streets through their neighborhood.
A good pedestrian accident attorney in Gilbert can help those who have been injured get the compensation they deserve after an accident. An accident lawyer in Gilbert can also help the families of those killed while walking get compensation as a measure of justice.
It helps to understand the common causes of pedestrian accidents to understand where the biggest risks are and to take steps to avoid them where possible. Here are the top five causes of pedestrian accidents we see in our personal injury roster here in Arizona:
Almost half of all accidents that lead to pedestrian fatalities involved either drivers or pedestrians that were drunk. We all know the dangers of a drunk driver – slowed response time, poor judgement, impaired motor skills. A drunk driver may not see a pedestrian, may not slow down in time, or may not be able to control the vehicle and will run into the pedestrian.
However, a drunk pedestrian can also be very dangerous. Drivers may not be able to slow down in time for a pedestrian that runs out into the middle of the road at the last second or that stumble unexpectedly into the road. Drunk pedestrians can stand or even lie in the middle of a dark road. They can weave erratically, making it hard for drivers to predict where they are going.
2. Reduced Visibility
Many accidents involving pedestrians occur in either the late afternoon or the early evening, primarily because of the reduced visibility. During these hours, the sun is beginning its descent, and it can shine bright glares right at eye level for drivers. Even with shades and sunglasses, they can have a hard time seeing all areas on the road because of the sun’s harsh rays.
As the sun gets lower, it will get darker, but not yet dark enough for street lights and head lights to come on. Pedestrians can blend right in with the background until drivers are closer to them, at which point it can be hard to stop on time.
3. Crossing Issues
All pedestrians should cross the street at a designated crosswalk, and they should wait until the light signals them to walk. But not all pedestrians do that. Some cross the road wherever they find it convenient, and some cross at a crosswalk but do not wait for the signal. Both can lead to accidents.
Drivers can also soar right through crosswalks, even if they do not have the right of way. Turning drivers are especially problematic because they are looking at traffic and not pedestrians in the crosswalk when deciding if they can turn.
4. Distracted Driving
Drivers can’t see that there are pedestrians in the road if they aren’t looking at the road. Yet this is exactly what happens every day when people text while driving or are distracted by things like changing the radio station, grabbing food out of a bag, or even yelling at kids in the back seat. Any kind of distracted driving increases the chances that a driver will hit a pedestrian or will hit a nearby item that can injure a pedestrian, such as a pole that falls on the pedestrian or hitting mailboxes or other items that are knocked into the pedestrian.
When drivers speed, they actually have a chance of slowing down and avoiding other cars, which are already moving. However, they have a much, much slimmer chance of avoiding pedestrians, who are walking at only a couple of miles per hour, if that. Drivers have to be able to stop instantly if they are speeding and suddenly see a pedestrian in the road.
There are many more things that can contribute to a pedestrian accident, such as poor traffic patterns or pedestrians not being able to hear cars that have quiet engines. It’s important that people take whatever precautions they can as both drivers and pedestrians to avoid these accidents. The consequences are more likely to be fatal when an accident involves a several-ton vehicle and an unprotected pedestrian.
The attorneys at My AZ Personal Injury Lawyer can advise you if you or someone you love have been injured or killed in a pedestrian accident. A Gilbert personal injury lawyer from our team will review the details of your case and let you know if you are entitled to compensation. If you are, your pedestrian accident attorney will fight to get the maximum settlement possible for your case. Call us today to start talking to an experienced and dedicated accident lawyer.
My AZ Personal Injury Lawyers
1731 West Baseline Rd.
Mesa, AZ 85202
Hours: Mon – Fri: 9am – 5pm