One pedestrian is injured every eight minutes. Every two hours, one pedestrian will die in a traffic crash. 13 percent of all accidents involve pedestrians. According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, there were 15,928 accidents involving pedestrians in a recent year. Of the amount, 296 crashes were fatal and in the additional 15,614, some type of injury occurred. Unfortunately, most, if not all of the pedestrian accidents could have been avoided.
A pedestrian accident is an accident that involves a vehicle on the road and individuals or pedestrians walking on the street. If the vehicle is going over 30 mph when making contact with the pedestrian, the victim may suffer from severe, possibly life-threatening injuries, but they may also suffer substantial injuries even if the vehicle is only going 10 mph. Either way, the entire accident is a very traumatic experience for both parties involved.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Though the pedestrian accident statistics mentioned above are alarming, oftentimes, a pedestrian accident can be avoided. Take a look at the common causes of a pedestrian accident:
Unmarked crosswalks – Using signaled crosswalks reduces the risk of a pedestrian accident. This makes drivers more likely to see pedestrians crossing the road. This includes while walking in parking lots too since a driver could be more focused on finding a parking spot than if a pedestrian is crossing the lot suddenly.
Left-hand turns – While making a turn, drivers are more likely to be focused on looking at where they’re going and negotiating the intersection with traffic rather than pedestrians crossing the road. Three times as many people are hit by vehicles turning left than right.
Quiet Cars – While energy-efficient vehicles such as battery-operated cars and hybrids are ideal to keep the neighborhood quiet, they may be more difficult for pedestrians to detect.
Dark Clothing – Similar to if the car cannot be heard, a pedestrian may not be seen as easily if they are in dark clothing, especially at night. 70 percent of pedestrian accidents occur at night.
Electronics – Cell phones are a major cause of pedestrian accidents with both drivers and pedestrians to blame. A driver may drift into the sidewalk or not see a pedestrian if they are texting, and a pedestrian may wander into oncoming traffic if they are distracted by their phone or cannot hear a vehicle coming if they are wearing headphones.
Alcohol – Again, both drivers and pedestrians could be to blame in this cause of pedestrian accidents. 37 percent of pedestrians who were fatally injured have blood alcohol levels of at least the legal limit at 0.08 percent. Drivers who get behind the wheel under the influence are involved in 13 percent of pedestrian accidents.
Reckless driving – This includes speeding, failure to obey rules of the road, or making illegal U-turns.
Rights and Responsibilities of Pedestrians
While walking or riding down the street, pedestrians have a duty to exercise due care for their own safety as well, such as:
- Obey crosswalks and signals – Avoid jaywalking at all costs.
- Wait until traffic has slowed before crossing – Do not run into oncoming traffic.
- Pay attention to surroundings – Put away distractions like cellphones and watch where you’re walking.
- Wear bright colors, or reflective clothing, especially if you walk at night.
- Use a flashlight if you walk at night.
As a pedestrian, you have rights. You have the right-of-way when crossing the roadway within a crosswalk. Vehicles coming from a driveway must yield to pedestrians as well. You also have the right to a safe path to walk on. Sidewalks and roadways must be properly maintained in order to ensure your safety.
Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Injuries suffered by pedestrians can be catastrophic. Not all pedestrians are walking down the street with a helmet, meaning the likelihood of a traumatic brain injury is high if the pedestrian should make contact with a motor vehicle or the pavement. Pedestrians may also suffer from spinal injuries if they fall onto the road. This injury may result in paralysis. Less serious injuries may include bruises, cuts, or fractured extremities.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, you need a team of experienced personal injury lawyers ready to fight for you and your rights. As a pedestrian accident victim, your medical bills may be piling up and you may be out of work for some time. The People’s Lawyer has the knowledge and experience to get you the substantial compensation you deserve. Don’t suffer because of someone else’s negligence. Contact Brindisi, Murad, Brindisi & Pearlman, personal injury lawyers of Central New York, for a free consultation today.
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