You don’t need to be driving to be at risk on the road. The difference is that if you’re not in a car, you don’t have a large, heavy metal shell protecting you in a collision.
And as basic physics will tell you, a car wins out over a pedestrian every time.
After two years of marked increases, the pedestrian fatality rate in the US is holding steady at 6,000 pedestrians per year. Pedestrian deaths as a percentage of total traffic fatalities are also on the rise.
And even if a car doesn’t cause a fatality, it can still inflict significant harm and trauma on you and your loved ones.
Here are a few facts you didn’t know (but need to know) about pedestrian accidents.
Most of us like to think of pedestrian accidents as a freak incident. Sadly, that isn’t the case.
In 2018, 6,227 pedestrians died in traffic accidents, the highest number of pedestrian traffic fatalities in 30 years. Why is the number so high?
In many states, safety officials argue that it’s due to transportation systems, which were designed to support cars—not pedestrians.
There’s also the issue of distracted driving. The biggest culprit? Your smartphone.
We live in a world where everyone is physically attached to their phone, even on the road. The problem is that you can only really pay attention to one thing at a time, no matter how good of a multitasker you think you are. Humans are scientifically proven to be atrocious multitaskers—our brains simply are not wired for it.
When you think you’re “multitasking” what you’re really doing is rapidly switching between multiple tasks rather than paying attention to multiple tasks at the same time. If, for example, you took an average of five seconds to take your eyes off the road and answer a text while going 55 mph, you can cover the length of a football field.
Put together rampant bad driving habits and roads that aren’t designed to accommodate pedestrians and you have a recipe for disaster.
Distracted driving is risky enough on its own. When you add alcohol into the mix, you’re staring down an increasingly dangerous situation for pedestrians.
Unfortunately, alcohol is a highly common factor among pedestrian accidents—almost half of all crashes resulting in pedestrian deaths involved alcohol impairment for the driver or the pedestrian. One in every three fatal pedestrian accidents involved a pedestrian with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 grams per deciliter, while 13% involved a driver with the same BAC.
This points to a major issue in many pedestrian accidents—responsibility.
A driver is responsible for paying attention to the road to make sure they don’t hit anyone. However, if a sober driver hits a pedestrian who wandered out into the road while drunk, then the pedestrian was behaving unsafely and it becomes more difficult to cast blame on the driver.
Conversely, a drunk driver hitting a sober pedestrian is a relatively straightforward question of responsibility, provided that the pedestrian was practicing appropriate care.
Given the commonality of alcohol in pedestrian accidents, it should come as no surprise that most pedestrian accidents happen at night.
Most pedestrian fatalities occur in the evening. In fact, more fatalities occur in the overnight hours (75%) than during the daylight hours (22%), dusk (2%), and dawn (1%) combined. However, the exact time that accidents are most common varies depending on the time of year.
During the winter months, one-third of accidents occur between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Fall months have the most accidents during this period as well. Most spring and summer accidents, on the other hand, tend to occur later—28% of accidents in the spring and 33% of accidents in the summer occurred between 9 p.m. and midnight.
Finally, keep in mind that pedestrian accidents may not happen where you expect.
You might think that traffic accidents are more common at intersections, since there are more cars crossing in multiple directions and pedestrians attempting to cross the street. In reality, the vast majority of pedestrian accidents occur at non-intersections, and only a small number of pedestrian accidents occur on sidewalks, bike lanes, shoulders, medians, and parking zones.
Remember, cars are expecting pedestrians to cross at intersections. There are crosswalks, lights, and stop signs for that express purpose. The same is true of bike lanes, sidewalks, and medians. But if you’re not at an intersection, cars won’t be expecting a person to dart across the road.
And since both the pedestrian and the car are in motion, there’s a much higher chance of an accident.
Pedestrian accidents are frightening—in some respects, they can be more frightening than car accidents. But pedestrians, just like drivers, have the right to stay safe on the road.
If you or a loved one were caught in a pedestrian accident, you need an auto accident attorney that knows the law, knows how to apply the details of your case, and is prepared to fight for your rights. We know that experiences like this are incredibly difficult for families, which is why our law firm is based on treating our clients with the same care we would provide to our own loved ones.
We’ve won millions for families just like you, but more importantly, we know how to fight for what you deserve so that you can begin the process of recovery with your feet underneath you. If you need to speak with an attorney about your options, schedule your free consultation today.Share this Article