What Are The Main Causes of Pedestrian Accidents?

pedestrian accident

A car hitting a pedestrian can be one of the most traumatic types of car accidents anyone could ever experience. With many pedestrians walking the sidewalks every day, these types of accidents do unfortunately happen. If you understand some of the reasons these accidents happen, you can help to prevent them.

9 Main Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

  • Distracted Drivers
    Drivers texting or talking on cell phones not only put pedestrians at risk but other drivers as well. However, pedestrians focusing on digital devices while crossing streets are also at risk for vehicle-pedestrian accidents. Bottom line: don’t use digital devices while walking or driving in traffic!
  • Impaired Drivers
    Drivers who operate their vehicles while drunk or under the influence of drugs are dangerous to everyone on the road, especially pedestrians. Impaired drivers driving through crosswalks against the traffic lights or making left turns directly into a group of pedestrians can result in pedestrian accidents. All pedestrians walking in traffic at night should remain cognizant of impaired drivers.
  • Impatient Drivers
    In New York State, generally speaking, pedestrians have the right of way. If a pedestrian does not see your vehicle and starts crossing the street against the light, that pedestrian still has the right of way. Impatient drivers who do not look out for pedestrians or try to drive around pedestrians walking in crosswalks cause many pedestrian accidents.
  • Recklessness
    Recklessness by both drivers and pedestrians can be considered one of the primary causes of pedestrian accidents. A driver who does not look for pedestrians or who does not obey traffic laws at crosswalks can be a danger to pedestrians.
  • Bad Weather
    A slippery road might make it difficult to impossible for a vehicle to stop in time to let a pedestrian pass, while hazardous walking conditions could cause a pedestrian to fall into the path of an unsuspecting motorist. Additionally, rain water can cause cars to hydroplane into crosswalks and ice can cause cars to jump the curb.
  • Wearing Dark Clothes at Night
    As day turns to night, the number of pedestrian accidents tends to increase. If you plan on walking after dark, wear white or other light-colored clothing and take along a pocket flashlight you can turn on when crossing a street. Although most intersections and crosswalks are illuminated by flashing lights and streetlamps, it is still difficult for drivers to discern pedestrians who blend in with background darkness. At the same time, drivers should be aware of pedestrians and expect pedestrians to be walking along the streets at night.
  • Road Construction
    Many people are very familiar with the inconveniences that come with road construction. What many people may not realize is that road construction can force pedestrians to walk in areas where drivers do not expect them to be.
  • Vehicles Making Left Turns
    Just because a crosswalk has signals doesn’t mean drivers will pay attention to them. Pedestrians are always at risk of being hit by cars turning left because drivers may be concentrating on negotiating busy intersections while looking straight ahead instead of to the left.
  • Multi-Lane/Arterial Roads
    Arterial roads can represent a danger to pedestrians. Drivers have to deal with other drivers changing lanes, speeding, making unsafe lane changes or tailgating. For the most part, drivers are not making a point of looking out for pedestrians or even focusing on traffic signals.

3 Ways You May Reduce Pedestrian Accidents

From 2007 to 2016, pedestrian fatalities in the United States rose by 27 percent, which is more than any other type of traffic accidents. If you are a pedestrian, here are some guidelines you can follow that may help reduce your chances of becoming another statistic.

  • Do Not Assume Drivers are Paying Attention
    In New York, pedestrians have the right of way in many traffic situations. However, that does not necessarily mean that drivers are looking out for pedestrians at all times. Just as you should practice defensive driving on the roads, you should also practice defensive walking as a pedestrian. Be sure the road is clear before you cross, even at a designated crosswalk when the light is with you. The fact that a vehicle has to stop by law does not always mean they will.
  • Use Designated Crosswalks
    The majority of drivers are looking for pedestrians to cross at designated crosswalks. To avoid being part of an accident, you should try to cross at a crosswalk and wait until the light is with you.
  • Do Not Walk in the Street
    When you walk in the street, you block traffic and can cause a lot of other problems. It is not worth getting into a debate over the legality of walking in the street when doing so can result in being hit by a car. Instead, you should walk on the sidewalks and other designated walking areas around the streets. This may help you to avoid being in a situation where you are walking in an area where drivers are simply not paying attention.


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When pedestrians are struck by vehicles through not fault of their own, William Mattar’s pedestrian accident attorneys are ready to provide legal representation for pedestrians suffering serious physical injuries. If you were hit by a negligent driver while walking, call (844) 444-4444 today to schedule a free consultation about possible compensation for damages. No Fee Until We WinSM | Contact Now

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