What are the Leading Causes of Pedestrian Accidents?

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Pedestrian accidents are all too common and can frequently lead to severe injuries or death. Knowing the primary causes of pedestrian accidents allows those who are walking to protect themselves. For example, pedestrians must always pay attention to what cars are doing and make decisions as if cars’ drivers won’t be able to see them. The following are some of the most common reasons pedestrians are involved in accidents. 

Speeding

Speeding is the biggest cause of pedestrian motor vehicle fatalities. Drivers who are speeding are not able to stop as quickly, which increases the potential for an accident. They may also not be able to steer as easily, which could cause them to drive off the road and onto a sidewalk. 

Impairment

Impaired drivers often swerve between lanes and may go off the road. They also can run through red lights or stop signs, fail to yield at crosswalks, and take longer to react when something unexpected happens on the road. For pedestrians, this can mean an accident because the driver cannot stop or react in time. 

Distracted Driving

Anything that takes the driver’s attention from the road is considered distracted driving. This includes talking or texting on the phone, reaching for something that fell, reaching into the back seat, eating while driving, and more. Unfortunately, when drivers aren’t paying attention to the road, they can end up causing an accident or hitting a pedestrian. 

Failure to Yield

Pedestrians crossing at a crosswalk have the right of way. Yet, many drivers will not yield and will go through a crosswalk, especially if they’re trying to make a right turn. Pedestrians can be severely injured if they are hit while in a crosswalk or standing too close to the road while waiting to cross. 

Running Lights or Stop Signs

Crosswalks are often located at the same place as red lights or stop signs. When it’s the pedestrian’s turn to cross at a light, the traffic has a red light. When someone runs a red light, they can hit and injure anyone who is crossing at that time. 

Poor Weather

Poor weather reduces visibility, which means it’s more difficult for drivers to see someone who is walking. Plus, with severe weather, it can be difficult to see the road or to stay in the lane, increasing the potential for anyone who is walking to be hit. If walking in poor weather is unavoidable, pay attention to the traffic and always walk facing the cars to make it easier to see what they’re doing.

Dark Clothing at Night

If pedestrians are wearing dark clothing at night, it’s far more difficult for drivers to see them in time to stop. Instead, pedestrians who need to walk at night should use a light to see where they’re going, wear reflective clothing, and keep a close eye on the traffic. 

Walking is a great way to get from place to place, but it can be dangerous. Drivers can make mistakes that end up causing an accident with a pedestrian, and it can be difficult to see and stop for pedestrians at night or when the weather is poor. Pedestrians should take the right steps to walk safely when they’re near roads and to make sure they’re paying attention, as it’s possible that the drivers on the road aren’t paying close enough attention to avoid an accident.