Every year, over 70,000 pedestrians are injured in traffic collisions, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports. Other 4,000 die.
There are several different ways in which pedestrian may be injured in an accident involving a vehicle. Often, these accidents occur because a motorist is not paying attention. But sometimes, they happen because a pedestrian is not walking in areas designated for foot traffic.
Dangerous roadway conditions also can come into play.
So when it comes to staying safe while on foot, what risks should you avoid? And what behaviors should drivers avoid to prevent deaths? Studying the most common factors behind pedestrian accidents may help.
Why Are People Getting Hit? Most Common Factors In Pedestrian Accidents
- Speeding Makes Accidents More Likely
Drivers do not always have enough reaction time to avoid an accident, especially when they are traveling over the speed limit.
The faster the car is moving, the more seriously the pedestrian will be injured. More often than not, these accidents are fatal.
- Distracted Driving And Electronics
Driving distracted is a growing problem nationwide. More states are cracking down on these behaviors. In January 2008, Washington banned texting while driving and also outlawed the use of a cell phone without a hands-free device. Since then, the law has been widened, and drivers may now be stopped solely for driving while distracted. But drivers aren’t the only ones using electronics.
According to a study in the state of New York, eight percent of accidents involving pedestrians happened while victims were using phones, iPods, and other electronic devices.
- Newer, Quiet Cars
Auto technology has helped us a great deal. As a result, newer cars are so quiet, pedestrians can’t hear them. According to the NHTSA, pedestrian accidents are 40 percent more likely of involving electric or hybrid vehicles. And in residential areas, the risk increases to 50 percent.
- Failure to Yield Right-of-Way
At intersections and crosswalks, pedestrians have the right-of-way. Drivers are required under Washington law to yield to pedestrians at all crosswalks and intersections. At the same time, a pedestrian has the responsibility to cross or to walk only in areas designated for foot traffic.
- Wearing Dark Clothes at Night
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), most pedestrian accidents happen on weekends. And the majority (70 percent) happen at night.
If you’ll be out at night and you want to make sure drivers can see you, wear bright and lightly colored clothes. Wearing shoes with reflective features and other jogging gear can also help to avoid accidents.
- Traffic Signal Violations
Cars that hit the gas to beat a red light, or those that simply blow through a red light put everyone at risk. Some motorists turn on a red light, or go as soon as the light turns green without looking to see if pedestrians are crossing the road. That moment of inattention of impatience can cost a life.
- Drunk Driving
A high percentage of pedestrian accidents occur when the driver is intoxicated. Impaired drivers are less likely to see and to react to a pedestrian, but for that matter, intoxicated walkers are less likely to cross the road legally and safely. Either driving or walking under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol puts lives in danger.
- Failure to Use Caution in School Zones
When drivers are in areas where children are present, it is their responsibility to operate their vehicles with due care. Even if the child is at fault for the accident, a driver may still be held accountable for not exhibiting a proper degree of caution around children.
- Dangerous Roadways or Intersections
A governmental entity that maintains a roadway has a responsibility to make sure it is safe for motorists and pedestrians to use. If a city or municipality fails to repair a dangerous or defective roadway condition despite having notice of it, then that governmental entity could be held liable for any accidents or injuries caused as a result.
The experienced lawyers of the Bernard Law Group have represented numerous victims who have been injured because of someone else’s negligence. We have obtained fair compensation for them, and we can do the same for you and your loved one. Call us today to find out how we can help.
Pedestrian Accidents Lawyers in Kirkland, Seattle, and Bellevue
IF YOU, OR A LOVED ONE, HAVE BEEN SERIOUSLY INJURED AS A RESULT OF A WASHINGTON PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT – CALL TODAY FOR A FREE CONSULTATION!