Walking is a daily routine for most people and can sometimes be the only viable option for moving from one location to another. However, while walking is a primary mode of connecting between nearby locations, walking in big cities can be hazardous.
When pedestrian accidents happen in big cities, negligent drivers are often responsible. In other instances, however, the local government or pedestrians themselves may be to blame for the accidents.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
Pedestrian accidents are a common occurrence and a leading cause of death in the United States. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 76,000 pedestrians were injured and 4,743 others died in traffic crashes in 2012. Out of these, 2,943 pedestrian crashes were in Chicago alone, and most of the victims sought the assistance of reliable Chicago car accident lawyers to recover fair compensation for their damages.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in Big Cities
- Failure to Yield Right of Way
The term right of way refers to a pedestrian or motorist’s legal right to proceed with precedence over the other party in a particular situation. For instance, if the traffic lights give pedestrians the right to proceed into the crosswalk, the motorist must allow them to cross the road before driving through the crosswalk area or intersection.
Failure to yield right of way happens when either the motorist or the pedestrian precedes without giving precedence to the party to whom it’s due. For example, where a motorist fails to yield to a pedestrian’s right of way.
- Left Turns
Turning vehicles can hit a pedestrian irrespective of the direction of the turn. However, vehicles making a left turn are more likely to hit a pedestrian. When making a left turn, the driver’s attention is mainly on the oncoming vehicles and may not notice the pedestrian in the crosswalk. By the time the driver notices the pedestrian, it’s usually too late to stop resulting in an accident.
- Distracted Driving
Any activity that takes the driver’s attention off the road is a distraction and is a recipe for disaster. Examples of activities that lead to distracted driving include texting, calling, browsing the web, flipping channels on the radio, eating, drinking, or checking your GPS. Although distraction may get the driver’s eyes off the road for just a few seconds, that moment may be enough to cause or prevent an accident.
- Alcohol and Drugs Intoxication
Driving while intoxicated is among the leading causes of traffic accidents in America. When a driver is intoxicated, either by consuming alcohol or drugs, their reaction time, general driving skills, and reasoning are impaired, increasing the possibility of causing an accident. The overuse of alcohol or drugs as a causative factor to pedestrian accidents is not limited to drivers. Intoxicated pedestrians are also prone to making poor decisions when using the road, resulting in accidents.
- Poor Visibility
Many factors can contribute to poor visibility, including poor weather, obstructions on the road, Pedestrians wearing dark clothes at night, and Poor vehicle headlights. It is essential to exercise extra caution when driving or walking in poor visibility situations to minimize the chances of an accident.
- Defective Traffic Features and Unsafe Road Condition
When pedestrian accidents happen, sometimes it may be as a result of poor road conditions. Other times it’s due to traffic features such as crosswalk’s defective design, layout, or placement. Usually, the local government is responsible for designing and maintaining the roadways. That means if you get injured as a result of potentially dangerous road conditions, working with a car accident lawyer can help you hold the liable government entity accountable.
Pedestrian accidents can happen at any place or any time. It’s, therefore, essential to exercise caution when walking or crossing the road. If an accident happens, however, enlisting a reputable car accident lawyer can help you pursue the rightful compensation.