According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) statistics on pedestrian fatalities in 2017, the main causes of pedestrian accidents include:
- Failure to yield right of way
- Crossing a roadway or intersection improperly
- Standing, lying, playing, or working in a roadway
- Poor visibility
- Being under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or medication
- Running into the road
Pedestrians are also killed from distractions (texting, calls, etc.), physical impairments, walking the wrong way, or on being roads/highways that prohibit pedestrians.
The Main Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Hundreds of pedestrians are either injured or killed each year due to the following reasons:
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Failure to Yield Right of Way
“Right of way” refers to the legal right of a pedestrian or motorist to proceed with precedence in a particular location or situation. For instance, if a traffic signal directs a pedestrian to proceed onto the crosswalk, a motorist must allow the pedestrian to cross the road before driving through the intersection or crosswalk area.
Failure to yield right of way occurs when either a pedestrian or motorist commits a traffic violation by proceeding without giving precedence to the other party. For example, if a car does not yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.
Crossing a Roadway or Intersection Improperly
Even in right-of-way situations, a pedestrian may cross a roadway or intersection improperly. A person may attempt to cross the street somewhere other than the designated crosswalk (also known as jaywalking). Or, they may attempt to cross the road at the last minute before a light changes or in front of oncoming traffic.
When a pedestrian crosses a roadway improperly, drivers may have little to no time to react. Consequently, a driver may hit a pedestrian, causing severe injuries.
Standing, Lying, Playing, or Working in a Roadway
It can be difficult for a driver to avoid an accident with a pedestrian who is standing or lingering in the roadway. Even if a car swerves to miss the pedestrian, the driver behind the vehicle may not see them in time. A pedestrian who is standing, lying, or playing in a roadway may be responsible for the accident.
Driver negligence can be deadly for roadside workers. Workers are typically required to wear visible gear and place signs in the road that alert drivers of their presence. Likewise, drivers are required to practice extra caution around a worksite in the road.
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Several factors can contribute to reduced visibility, such as:
- Poor weather conditions
- Objects or vehicles on the side of the road
- Pedestrians wearing dark clothing at night
- Poor headlights on a vehicle
- Bright lights shining in a pedestrian’s eyes
When poor visibility is an issue in an accident, responsible parties could be pedestrians, motorists, or another party such as the city or a road crew. However, poor visibility should also cause a pedestrian or motorist to exercise caution. Failure to do so is what often leads to pedestrian accidents.
Drugs, Alcohol, or Medication
Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a contributing factor in thousands of car-related accidents each year. Such is the case with pedestrian accidents.
Drugs and alcohol can impair judgment, making it more difficult to walk across the street or operate a vehicle. Either a pedestrian or a motorist who has had too much to drink or has been using drugs could cause an accident.
Running or Darting Into the Road
Children and adolescents may dart into a road with no regard for any oncoming traffic. This can lead to accidents in virtually any part of town. When a pedestrian darts out into the road, the driver may have insufficient time to react properly. Consequently, they may strike the pedestrian and cause massive injuries.
Get Help from a Lafayette Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you were injured in a pedestrian accident in Lafayette or Alexandria, Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers may be able to help you. We represent car accident victims in settlement negotiations or personal injury lawsuits.
If you were struck by a negligent driver as a pedestrian, we may be able to help you recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. You may also be able to recover compensation if you were a driver who was injured in a car accident caused by the negligent actions of a pedestrian.
To get started with your case, call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers at (337) 777-7777 for a free, no-obligation consultation with a member of our team. We may be able to represent you on a contingency-fee basis with no up-front payment required.