When pedestrians are involved in a motor vehicle crash, the injuries are often devastating. Lacking the inherent protection of being inside of a vehicle, a pedestrian bears the entire brunt of an impact with a vehicle. Motorists and pedestrians alike can do their part to prevent these horrific accidents from occurring. In the hopes that learning about some of the most frequent causes of pedestrian accidents will help minimizing the chances of them occurring in the first place, let’s take a look at some of these causes here. Being aware of the dangers can be a strong first step towards prevention.
What are the Most Frequent Causes of Pedestrian Accidents?
First, let’s take a look at those pedestrian accident causing behaviors which can be exhibited by both drivers and pedestrians alike. For instance, distraction. We have all heard of the dangers of distracted driving and they are just as real and prominent as ever. A person who looks down at their phone to check a text or take a call puts others at risk, pedestrians included. In that momentary glance away from the road, a pedestrian may begin crossing the road. It only takes a moment, after all, for a devastating crash to occur. It is important to also mention the fact that distracted pedestrians are also common causes of pedestrian accidents. Pedestrians can be distracted by any number of things, phones included. When they do not have their full attention on what they are doing or where they are going, they can easily step into danger’s path.
Additionally, being impaired by drugs or alcohol can be dangerous for drivers and pedestrians as well. Of course, operating a vehicle while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs and alcohol poses severe risks to many as a car stands to cause devastating in an accident. Impairment means that a driver is operating a vehicle with impaired judgment and impaired reaction time, among other dangerous side effects of drugs and alcohol. While a pedestrian may not be able to wreak the same kind of havoc an impaired driver can, it is dangerous nonetheless. Pedestrians impaired by drugs or alcohol also can experience impaired judgment and delayed reaction times. That is why pedestrian impairment will sometimes play a contributing factor in a pedestrian accident.
Reckless driving and walking behaviors are also common factors in pedestrian accidents. Drivers who speed, ignore traffic signals, and make other dangerous driving choices will often cause accidents, pedestrian accidents included. On the other side of things, pedestrians that do not use crosswalks, ignore traffic signals, and run out into traffic will also put themselves and others at risk of accident involvement.
Other common causes of pedestrian accidents include:
- Road construction
- Inclement weather
- Low visibility (particularly at night)
- Vehicles making left turns