Generally, Pedestrians are people who travel on foot. In the USA, people who travel not only on foot but also on wheelchairs, mobility scooters, and skateboards are considered pedestrians.
Going for a walk or jog? Be vigilant. Pedestrians are the most vulnerable section in pedestrian-vehicle accidents. Walking may not be the safest means of commuting for jaywalkers. Irresponsible pedestrians also contribute to the pedestrian accident fatality rates.
Pedestrian accident statistics:
In total fatalities, pedestrian accident fatalities alone add up to around 15% each year. According to the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA), the pedestrian fatality rates from 2008 to 2017 were in a steady increase from 14% to 19%. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the fatality rates had a 2.7% decrease, as states were under lockdown in 2019. Even though the traffic volume decreased when compared to 2019, the fatality rates seemed to be projected in 2020. This is because the accident fatality rates were calculated per 100 million vehicle miles.
Causes of pedestrian accidents:
Pedestrians should be aware of the causes of pedestrian-vehicle accidents. The main causes of such accidents are as follows:
- Distracted driving and walking:
Reading or texting behind the wheels is the most prominent reason for pedestrian accidents too. A negligent driver may not notice the intersections or the pedestrians crossing. Few seconds of distraction is enough to take many lives.
Listening to music while walking or driving has become a fashion nowadays. While having headphones, one can’t hear the alert sounds properly. Children and youngsters engrossed in the gadgets may forget the surroundings and end up in pedestrian-vehicle accidents.
- Walking or driving under the influence of alcohol:
Every 52 minutes one person dies in drunk driving accidents, says NHTSA. Either be the drivers or the pedestrians, drinking affects the nervous system and impairs their abilities of reasoning. In many countries, drunk driving is prohibited as it is a serious threat to human lives. A drunk pedestrian is not only a nuisance to society but also a vulnerable victim.
- Turning left at the intersections:
While turning left at the intersection, the drivers would be checking the front and they may not notice the pedestrians or the signals. This may cause an auto pedestrian accident.
- Backing up the car:
Fatal pedestrian accidents may occur while the drivers move their vehicles backward suddenly. These accidents mostly occur at parking lots when there is huge traffic. The drivers may not see children and people in wheelchairs. They should not be left unattended.
- Darting out:
Pedestrians should be aware of the right of way of motorists. When the pedestrians suddenly dart out of the blue onto the road, the motorists cannot avoid pedestrian-vehicle accidents. This may cause massive injuries to the pedestrians or even death. Mainly children should be watched out from being victims.
- Crossing before stopped vehicles:
If you cross the road in front of the stopped vehicles, sometimes it causes pedestrian accidents as it might prevent the other drivers coming behind from noticing you. Crossing before large vehicles like trucks is also dangerous as the drivers can’t see the pedestrians if crossing very close.
- Crossing the road other than at the crosswalks or intersections:
Motorists can’t react quickly when pedestrians cross the road other than at the intersections or crossroads as it is unexpected. Vehicles coming at great speed cannot be controlled at once. This may end in serious injuries or death of the pedestrians.
- Low visibility:
70% of pedestrian accidents happen because of low visibility. The main factors causing such accidents due to low visibility are as follows:
- Wearing dark clothes at night prevents the motorists from noticing the pedestrians. The majority of the accidents happen in urban areas, due to poor lighting.
- During winter and rainy seasons, accidents are common as the motorists can’t see clearly with the wipers working.
- Pedestrians wearing raincoats and coats and mufflers also have limited sight.
- Not yielding right of the way:
The pedestrians, as well as the motorists, have the right of the way. Drivers who are not yielding right of the way at the signals or intersections and pedestrians who are negligently obstructing the path of the motorists are also responsible for the pedestrian-vehicle accidents.
Pedestrian accident injuries:
On seeing the empty roads, some drivers are tempted to check their rash driving skills. For the pedestrians, empty roads are not a place to cross negligently. Wherever one walks, one must be vigilant enough to safeguard oneself. If not, pedestrian fatalities are unavoidable.
Around 50% of pedestrians are injured in their lower extremities. Sprain, fractured bones and pelvis, amputation, damaged ligaments are the common result of a car pedestrian accident.
When a pedestrian’s body is impacted against the windshield or hood of the car, injuries to the neck, head, face, vertebrae, and lacerations and concussions can be the result.
If the pedestrian’s body is tossed over the vehicle, injuries to the upper extremities are unavoidable. Sometimes these injuries to the chest, abdomen, and head result in death.
Safety measures to avoid pedestrian accidents:
MUTCD (Manual on Traffic Control Devices), under sec. 2B- 33-34, categorizes pedestrian crossing signs and instructs pedestrians as well as drivers to follow them for a safer journey. Drivers must be cautious on seeing the pedestrian crossing ahead sign and reduce the speed of their vehicles expecting a possible pedestrian crossing.
Pedestrian crossing lights at the intersections and crossroads signal the people when and where to cross the roads. In some places, pedestrians can see WAIT buttons near the crosswalks. If you are in a hurry, this can be pressed, and wait for the signal to change. But the pedestrian crossing light will change to green, only based on the volume of traffic, when the last crossing was allowed and the policies of the traffic authority.
Pedestrians and motorists should follow certain rules to be away from fatalities. If we are cautious, we can avoid pedestrian accidents.
- Pedestrians should cross the roads only at the intersections or crossroads after the pedestrian crossing sign turns green.
- Can have flashlights at night.
- Wear reflective clothes at night and bright colors during the daytime.
- Avoid using gadgets while driving or walking.
- Pedestrians and drivers should avoid the intake of alcohol.
- Parents should instruct the children to follow the traffic rules.
- While crossing before stopped vehicles, make sure the drivers see you.
- Use the sidewalks.
- In the absence of sidewalks, walk as far as away from the road, facing the flow of the traffic.
Pedestrian accident lawsuits:
Do you know, who all can sue in a pedestrian accident case? All the pedestrians injured in a pedestrian-vehicle accident are eligible to sue. Plaintiff’s spouses can also sue the defendants. Even if the driver is partially responsible for the accident, one can sue. But if the pedestrian is the sole reason for the accident, he cannot sue anyone.
Are you involved in a pedestrian accident?
You can sue the following people:
- Driver who hit you.
- Driver A, who was responsible for driver B hitting you.
- Driver who failed to control the car from going to the sidewalk.
- Negligent and drunken drivers.
You can sue for the following damages:
- Past and future medical expenses.
- Pain and suffering.
- Loss of wages.
- Loss of enjoyment.
- Emotional impact.
- Loss of companionship.
- Long-term medical assistance expenses.
Role of pedestrian accident law firms in lawsuit claims:
Planning to sue someone for a pedestrian accident case? Have you contacted a qualified pedestrian accident law firm? They can help you get the maximum of your compensation.
If the driver is completely responsible for the pedestrian accident, chances of recovering a high compensation are possible. If, both the pedestrian and the driver are responsible for the accident, based on the degree of negligence, the compensation amount also will decrease.
Only an efficient law firm can analyze all the favorable means to win the lawsuit. They collect all the pieces of evidence and calculate the loss of wages, pain and suffering, emotional impacts, and even long-term medical expenses to help you get your deserved compensation. A skilled pedestrian accident law firm can even make negotiations with the insurance companies to get the maximum payout.
The pedestrian accident law firm can advise you of the next steps to be taken with regard to winning your claim suit. They will analyze all your records and take care of the legal side to guide you in getting what you deserve.
Your medical records also play an important role in claim suits. Each and every medical record should be sent to the attorney to be reviewed. Expert Medical record review companies like us, would review the records and assist the attorneys in claiming your compensation.
Being a responsible pedestrian is as important as expecting motorists to be responsible. Always be vigilant where you are and what’s going on around you. When involved in a pedestrian-vehicle accident, consult a doctor, collect all evidence and most importantly seek the help of a personal injury attorney to help you get your claims. Having a qualified law firm determines to help you gain the maximum compensation the law provides. Don’t hesitate to fight for your rights.