A survey conducted by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) stated that about 70 000 people get injured, and over 4000 people die in pedestrian accidents each year. Both drivers and pedestrians should practice more care while on the road if the numbers are to go down. Discussed below are some of the leading causes of a pedestrian accident.
A driver can be distracted by texting, talking on the phone, eating, changing a GPS setting, or tuning the radio. When doing these things, their mind usually wanders from the road from time to time. It only takes a second for an unsuspecting passenger with the right of way to cross the road and get hit. A driver should pull over, respond to a text or call, then continue driving.
Driving While Intoxicated
A driver causes about a third of pedestrian accidents under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Even a tiny amount of alcohol can interfere with the ability of the driver to see and react to road hazards. In most cases, it results in a crash. A few drinks can lead to impaired judgment and coordination, exaggerated behavior, and reduced ability to detect an object moving. All these are reasons why a dunk driver should not be behind the wheels. Drunk drivers who cause pedestrian accidents should be held accountable for their actions.
Speeding contributes to most car accidents, including the ones involving pedestrians. Driving above the required speed limit puts the driver and any pedestrian on the road at risk. The worst part is that pedestrians who are hit by an over-speeding car are likely to suffer severe injuries or even die due to the impact. Also, a driver at high speed has very little time to react in case a pedestrian crosses the road. A pedestrian who gets hit by an over-speeding vehicle might receive compensation with a good personal injury attorney, even if they are partly to blame for the accident.
Disobeying Traffic Rules
Drivers who fail to acknowledge traffic signs also cause pedestrian accidents. When a driver runs through a stoplight, they may run into a pedestrian who had the right way resulting in a severe accident. Such accidents are common at intersections that are controlled by stoplights.
Failure to Signal a Turn
Pedestrians have a duty to be careful while on the road. For instance, they are required to walk on crosswalks or certain street sides depending on traffic flow. Also, they should observe traffic lights and give way to a car that is turning. However, how can a pedestrian know that a vehicle is about to make a turn at an intersection? Drivers are required to signal a turn so that a pedestrian can give them the way. In most cases, some fail to signal, which results in accidents.
Despite the required speed limits, a driver needs to consider the current weather conditions and determine the safe speed limit. When it is raining, foggy, or snowing, a driver can easily miss a pedestrian passing on the road. And in most cases, they only notice the pedestrian when it is too late to hit the brakes.
It is not only drivers who get distracted while driving. Pedestrians also get distracted by their phones and ignore their surroundings. When they are talking, texting, or even listening to music, it can be hard to hear a car approaching. A pedestrian who is distracted by their phone will step on a street without looking, making it hard to notice an approaching vehicle resulting in an accident.
Therefore, both drivers and pedestrians must pay attention to the road to reduce pedestrian accidents.