In 2014, pedestrians were involved in 15 percent of total traffic fatalities. Additionally, an estimated 65,000 pedestrians were injured in U.S. traffic crashes that year. Causes of these incidents include:
- Left-hand turns. With the added distraction of watching oncoming traffic for an opening, drivers often forget to check for pedestrians before making the turn.
- Distracted driving. Studying a GPS for directions, texting, or emailing while behind the wheel can all distract a driver, making a crash more likely.
- Driving under the influence. Despite the marketing efforts of activist groups such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and harsh laws intended to prevent drunk driving, alcohol was involved in 48 percent of fatal crashes in 2014.
- Reduced visibility. At night and during inclement weather, pedestrians are more difficult to see. This is especially true when pedestrians are wearing dark clothing. Similarly, cars on the road at night without their headlights turned on are less likely to be noticed by pedestrians.
- Unpredictable behavior. Pedestrians who do not wait for “go” signals at crosswalks or demonstrate unpredictable behavior are likely to surprise drivers, who then have little time to react and avoid a crash.
How You Can Stay Safe
Most causes of pedestrian accidents are avoidable. You can protect yourself and your loved ones by being aware of the risk factors that contribute to these vehicle and pedestrian collisions. As a driver, be sure to watch for pedestrians, and slow down when they are around. If you are walking, be aware of your surroundings at all times and avoid behaving in ways that may be unexpected to motorists. If you’ve been injured in a car crash as a result of negligence, contact us to discuss your situation in-depth.