7 Common Reasons for Pedestrian Accidents
Topics: pedestrian accident
Nearly 13 pedestrians are struck and killed every day across the United States, and many of these accidents occur right here in the Sunshine State. That’s right, Florida has the unwanted distinction of being the most dangerous state for pedestrians in the nation. In fact, nine of the 20 deadliest U.S. cities are in Florida! To help lower these numbers, here’s a look at common causes of pedestrian fatality.
7 Most Common Reasons for Pedestrian Accidents
1. Distracted drivers
When drivers are talking or texting on their phone, eating, applying makeup, or engaging in any other activity that takes their eyes of the road, even for just a second, they’re more likely to hit someone who has the right of way (we think it’s great that Florida has finally joined most of the rest of the country by passing stricter texting-while-driving laws).
Speeding affects braking distance, the measurement of how far your vehicle travels during the time it takes to come to a complete stop once you’ve hit the brakes. Studies show that every time you double your speed, you multiply your braking distance by four. So, the faster you’re traveling, the less likely you’ll be able to brake in time should a pedestrian step in front of your vehicle.
3. Driving while intoxicated
In news that should surprise no one, DUI results in many pedestrian deaths. In fact, almost half (48%) of crashes that result in pedestrian death involved alcohol for the driver or the walker. The reason is simple: intoxication results in slowed reaction and reasoning.
4. Failing to stop or yield
When a driver ignores or rolls through a stop sign or intersection and fails to yield to pedestrians with the right of way, accidents leading to death often occur.
5. Poor weather conditions
Fog, rain, ice, and snow have all contributed to the death of pedestrians. Each can greatly reduce visibility, so much so that by the time a driver sees a pedestrian, it’s too late. Slick or slippery roadways also make it harder to slow down and reduce braking time.
6. Making left-hand turns
When making left-hand turns, a driver’s attention may be on navigating the intersection instead of pedestrians legally crossing the street in a crosswalk.
7. Backing up
Some of the most heartbreaking accidents happen at people’s homes when they back out of the driveway and hit a child, sometimes their own, that they didn’t see. Parking lot back-ups are also dangerous due to the false sense of security motorists and pedestrians feel. In fact, one of every five motor vehicle accidents takes place in a parking lot! While many of these only result in injury due to the slow speed most vehicles are moving at, death sometimes occurs.
Can Pedestrians Be At Fault for Accidents?
While we’ve identified the seven most common ways pedestrian deaths occur due to driver negligence, pedestrians can be at fault or at least partially at fault as well. Here are a few examples:
- Distracted walking. Pedestrians may be so busy looking at their mobile devices or tending to a toddler or pet that they walk into oncoming traffic when they don’t have the right of way.
- Walking on the road. It’s always best to keep to the sidewalks unless they’re obstructed, then proceed with caution.
- Ignoring road signs or traffic lights. Some pedestrians behave as if they always have the right of way, even when crossing a roadway without a marked crosswalk or disobeying traffic-control signals.
- Walking at night without reflective clothing. Visibility is reduced at night, and if a pedestrian is wearing dark clothes without any reflective material, they may not be seen until it’s too late.
- Being very young or old. While this is not a “fault,” it’s fact that young people may make mistakes due to inexperience, and the elderly may make mistakes due to confusion, or they may simply not be able to react quickly enough.
Seeking Help Follow Injury or Death in a Pedestrian Accident
Whether it’s due to the number of elderly citizens residing in Florida, tipsy tourists driving under the influence, or just poor infrastructure, Florida has got a bad reputation when it comes to pedestrian accidents. To improve these statistics, Vision Zero was created. The program is designed to “eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all." Check out their website to learn more. And, if you have been injured or have lost a loved one who was a pedestrian hit by a car, our skilled bicycle and pedestrian accident lawyers will are ready to fight to get you the compensation you deserve.