What Are The Main Causes Of Pedestrian Accidents?
The number of car accidents involving pedestrians has increased in the last few years. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 6,000 people die in pedestrian accidents every year.
There are several reasons why a pedestrian can be hurt from a car accident. Here is a list of the most common ones:
Disobeying the speed limit is one of the leading causes of most car accidents. Driving at high speeds reduces the amount of time the driver has to react if something gets in the path. Furthermore, an impact of a car traveling at high speed can cause severe injuries or death.
Accidents involving distracted drivers have become more common in recent years as a result of the usage of cell phones and other devices while driving. It is fairly common to see people texting or trying to change the radio station while driving. This obviously represents a great danger to pedestrians when crossing the street.
Driving under the influence
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, like speeding, is one of the primary causes of car accidents. The use of drugs and alcohol has a significant impact on people’s reflexes, reaction time, and coordination. Driving a car when intoxicated by these substances poses a significant risk on the road.
Rain, snow, fog, and other adverse weather conditions make ordinary tasks like crossing the street more dangerous than usual. When the roads are wet, snowy, or icy, drivers must be extra cautious because it is easy to lose control of the vehicle. Visibility can be particularly reduced on rainy or foggy days, causing drivers to not notice pedestrians near the road.
Both the driver and the pedestrian might be reckless. Drivers have a duty of care, and adhering to traffic laws is essential for the safety of other drivers and pedestrians. Similarly, pedestrians must use caution when approaching crossroads, crossing streets, or using crosswalks.
Not respecting the right of way
A car that fails to cede right of way may collide with a pedestrian who is crossing the street. Drivers must obey traffic signs and yield the right of way.
Dark clothing at night
Pedestrians wearing dark clothing at night, especially on poorly lit streets, are more likely to be hit by an automobile. It is much more difficult to spot pedestrians at night, but wearing dark clothing can make it even more difficult. Other factors, such as poor street lighting or defective headlights, can contribute to a pedestrian accident.
Streets being repaired or under construction
Drivers must exercise extreme caution when approaching a road that is being repaired. Workers may be required to be closer to where cars pass by than usual, and pedestrians may be required to walk on the street.
Where do pedestrians get hit the most?
Pedestrian accidents can happen anywhere and at any time. However, there are some places where these accidents are more common.
- Urban areas: According to the NHTSA, 81% of all pedestrian accidents happened in urban settings.
- Intersections: Intersections are dangerous sites for pedestrians because drivers are usually more concerned with other cars than with pedestrians who may be crossing the roadway.
- Dark areas: As previously mentioned, dark areas suppose more danger to pedestrians due to the limited visibility.
- Parking lots: Parking lots are places with a lot of cars and pedestrians in a very reduced space. Therefore, drivers who are distracted or drive recklessly can easily cause an accident.
- Roadsides: There are highways and roadways with no sidewalks or with extremely small shoulders. Because there are generally automobiles going at high speeds in these areas, these zones are not meant for pedestrians. Pedestrians walking there are in significant danger of being hit by an automobile.
What is the Driver’s Duty of Care?
The duty of care entails all motorists exercising reasonable care of every action they take. It is critical to ensure the safety of other drivers and pedestrians in order to avoid car crashes or pedestrian accidents. Driving carefully and respecting traffic laws are things that drivers are expected to do.
How much is the compensation resulting from the main causes of pedestrian accidents?
Pedestrians who are struck by a vehicle due to the driver’s negligence can pursue compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other out-of-pocket expenses. Depending on the severity of the injuries, compensation can greatly vary. Nonetheless, the insurance company will pay the victim for those damages up to the limit of the policy. In New York drivers are required to carry at least $25,000 for bodily injury for one person or $50,000 for two or more people and $50,000 for death for one person or $100,000 for two or more people. If your medical bills and other expenditures exceed the maximum amount that the insurance policy covers, contact a personal injury lawyer to explore other legal options.
Can I recover compensation if I am partially to blame for the accident?
Yes, thanks to the rule of comparative negligence you can recover compensation even if you were partially at fault. Keep in mind that it would be possible only if you are less than 50% responsible for the accident. Furthermore, the compensation you can receive is proportional to the percentage of fault of the responsible party.
What are some common injuries resulting from a pedestrian accident?
Pedestrian accidents can cause different injuries that can range from a few scrapes and scratches all the way to severe injuries. These are some of the most common:
- Sprains and strains
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
What should I do after a pedestrian accident?
- After a pedestrian accident, the most important thing to do is to get medical attention as soon as possible. Some injuries can be fatal if they are not treated immediately. Even if you feel well, getting checked by a doctor is necessary.
- Gathering evidence and taking photos of the accident scene is necessary to be able to receive compensation. Therefore, collect as much evidence as possible.
- The next thing you should do is to report the accident to the authorities. If the police show up, ask them for a copy of the accident report.
- Contact a personal injury lawyer. Getting professional legal advice is crucial to be able to receive fair compensation for your injuries.
How a pedestrian accident lawyer can help
A pedestrian accident lawyer can help you through every step of the process of getting compensation for your injuries. While you are recovering from your injuries, an accident lawyer can work on gathering evidence and contacting other professionals that can help you prove the other party’s negligence. Once the claim has been filed, the negotiation process will start. If you do not feel confident negotiating with the insurance company, that is not a problem. Experienced accident lawyers know how to deal with insurance companies and understand their tactics. Finally, your lawyer will be able to provide advice during the entire process to make sure you are making the right decision.
Hiring an experienced and reliable attorney is crucial to ensure fair compensation. If you are in need of an accident attorney, contact us immediately. At Greenberg & Stein P.C. You will find some of the best accident lawyers in New York. Our attorneys are ready to help you get the compensation you need and deserve. Call us to schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team to review your case.