Common Causes of Pedestrian AccidentsAugust 9, 2018
During the warm weather months, more pedestrians are out and about in cities and neighborhoods across the country. Walking is an excellent form of exercise that people of all ages can enjoy. Unfortunately, it is not always as safe as you might think. In fact, more than 4,000 pedestrians are killed each year in car accidents, and another 70,000 are injured.
While motorists certainly have a responsibility to be aware of their surroundings, and use extra caution when sharing the road with people who are walking or riding their bikes, pedestrians also have a responsibility to make safety a priority at all times.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Traffic Safety Facts, seniors over the age of 65 and children under 15 accounts for 27 percent of pedestrian fatalities and 34 percent of injuries.
By keeping the following culprits in mind, pedestrians and motorists alike can avoid some of the common causes of pedestrian accidents:
- Using the wrong lane. Most pedestrian accidents occur in the road. If there is no sidewalk, or a pedestrian is forced off the sidewalk and into the street, he or she can be hit by a car.
- Unmarked crosswalks. Accidents are common at intersections, particularly those that are not clearly marked. Signaled crosswalks can drastically reduce the risk of accidents at intersections. Crosswalks near parking lots should also be very clearly marked, since drivers may not see a pedestrian if they are focused on parking.
- Distracted drivers/pedestrians. Motorists who are texting or talking while driving can cause serious car accidents. However, studies show that pedestrians who are distracted by their cell phone, or other electronic devices, can also cause accidents if they are not paying attention to their surroundings.
- Dark clothing. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), close to half of all pedestrian accidents occur on weekends. Further, 70 percent happen at night when it is dark outside. Pedestrians should wear brightly colored clothing when walking at night. It is also a good idea to bring a flashlight so that you are better able to see, and oncoming traffic is more likely to see you.
- Left-hand turns. Signaled crosswalks can be dangerous for pedestrians because drivers are paying attention to the intersection as well as the pedestrian crossing the street. Pedestrians should use extra caution, or cross at another location.
- Electric cars are harder to hear. Electric cars and hybrids are 40 percent more likely to hit a pedestrian because they are so quiet. In residential areas, the risk increases to 50 percent.
- A study from the IIHS found that 37 percent of fatally injured pedestrians were legally drunk, while drunk drivers accounted for only 13 percent of pedestrian accidents.
- Multi-lane, high-speed roadways. As traffic increases, and the population becomes denser, there is a greater likelihood of pedestrian accidents, particularly where traffic is moving to a from busy freeways.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Injured Pedestrians
If you have been injured in a car accident while walking, or crossing the street, contact the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton as soon as possible. We will guide you through every step of the claims process and secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
From our offices in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, we represent car accident victims throughout Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.