What Is the Most Common Reason for Accidents Involving Pedestrians?
As shocking and difficult as this may be, pedestrians cause the majority of pedestrian accidents.
Even as distracted driving makes major headlines across the country as a growing cause of traffic accidents, not many people discuss distracted walking. This is largely due to the fact that individuals who walk while distracted don’t plow into Starbucks, telephone poles, or other drivers.
Nonetheless, like all major traffic accidents, the federal government keeps statistics on the cause of pedestrian accidents. According to The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, The U.S. Department of Transportation, and The Governors Highway Safety Association, in about half of these accidents, pedestrians are at fault, while drivers cause about 39%. The other 11% are undetermined.
Pedestrians are more like to be hit by a car:
- At night;
- On the weekend;
- While drunk;
- If they’re over 65; and/or
- In a major urban area.
But what is the most common reason for accidents involving pedestrians?
Most Accidents Do Not Occur at Intersections
The majority of pedestrian accidents involve pedestrians that were not crossing at corners or crosswalks. They crossed in the middle of the street. However, pedestrians do get hit at intersections, and when they do, it’s usually by a car that is turning left.
Many modern intersections have pedestrian traffic signals, turn-only lanes, and left-turn signals as a preventative measure. With those in place, it is simple to determine who was at fault for the accident.
There are Fewer Pedestrian Accidents Today, But…
While it is true that there is a steady decline in the number of pedestrian accidents, it turns out that a larger percentage of them are fatal.
It’s hard to say exactly why that is, but one theory is the rise of new quiet engines and hybrid cars. Hybrid engines run quieter than older cars, but pedestrians use both their eyes and their ears when sensing danger. In residential neighborhoods, a pedestrian’s chance of being struck by a hybrid car rises 40%.
Many urban areas are seeing a renaissance with a number of old industrial buildings becoming the centerpieces for commercial and residential developments. But many of those same cities have smaller streets that that can’t nearly accommodate as many cars or as much foot traffic. Construction projects may force pedestrians into the street where they can get in accidents.
Drivers Injured as Pedestrians
One overlooked sort of pedestrian is the driver who exists their car on the street side. While some might like cars designed like mail trucks, that revolution has yet to happen. Drivers should always check their mirrors when exiting their cars.
Denver Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help Pedestrians Injured in Traffic
Although a majority of pedestrian accidents are attributable to poor decisions by pedestrians, a number aren’t. If you’ve been injured in Denver traffic, give the personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of Steve Roberts and we can discuss your case and your options.