Now that the weather is warmer, more people are on the streets. Walking may be a wiser and healthier option, but it is not always the safest.
Seventy thousand pedestrians are injured – and more than 4,000 die in car accidents each year. While this is only a part of car accident deaths, it is a disproportionate amount: The eleven percent of transportation (regardless of miles traveled) occurs afoot, but pedestrians are involved in thirteen percent of vehicle-related fatalities (Source: Administration (NHTSA) Traffic Safety Information).
Although drivers are always legally responsible for controlling their vehicles, the most pedestrian accidents are caused by pedestrian actions. On sunny days – where there are more people outside – 90 percent of incidents happen. Age is also a factor – over-65s and under-15s represent 27 percent of deaths and 34 percent of injuries. (Source: NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts).
Here Are Some Offenders:
Improper use of the road
Most pedestrian accidents occur on the road with two thirds of them occurring on city streets. A bicycle mounted on the sidewalk can hit pedestrians or force them onto the road.
Intersections are a red dot for pedestrian accidents. The use of signaling crossings dramatically reduces any risk. Clearly marked crosswalks are vital in or near parking lots because drivers are less likely to see people when they are focused on the parking lot.
While the designated crosswalks are safer, they are not immune to car and pedestrian accidents. Three times more people are hit by cars turning left than cars turning right because both sides are looking elsewhere: Drivers are busy observing the intersection and pedestrians are looking forward
The no texting rule is not just for drivers. A recent study by NYU Langone Medical Center on pedestrian accidents in New York City found that eight percent of accidents occurred while the victim was using electronic devices including cell phones and music devices. The study also found significant numbers of passenger accidents leaving their vehicles on the side of the road.
While there are ideal for neighborhood peace, battery-powered cars and hybrid vehicles are 40 percent more likely to crash into pedestrians, they detect oncoming traffic with their ears and eyes. The risk increases by 50 percent in residential areas, where the speed limit is 35 mph or less, and stops, and turns are more frequent. (Source: NHTSA)
Almost 50 percent of all pedestrian accidents occur on the weekends, and 70 percent occur at night. (Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)). After the sun goes down, bright and lightly colored clothing is easier to spot in less populated places with poor lighting. Pocket flashlights are also a good idea if you plan to hang out at night.
The use of alcoholic substances undoubtedly contributes to accidents at night and on weekends, however drivers are not the only responsible party. Thirty-seven percent of fatally injured pedestrians have blood alcohol concentrations of at least 0.08 percent. Intoxicated drivers, by comparison, are involved in thirteen percent of pedestrian accidents. (Source: IIHS-Highway Loss Data Institute).
As cities attract more and more people, multi-lanes and high-speed roads are increasingly necessary to move traffic to and from the highway. Unfortunately, these sites are also dangerous for the densely populated areas they serve, where walking is common and bus stops are plentiful. According to a 2010 report from the University of California Highway Safety Research Center, most urban pedestrian accidents occur on these roads.
Contact a California Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Avrek has successfully handled many pedestrian accident cases. If you or someone you love has been injured, please contact us today and get the justice you deserve.