Each year, thousands of pedestrians are killed in traffic accidents. In 2018 alone, a pedestrian died in an automobile accident every 84 minutes. The statistics are staggering, especially when these people are not behind the wheel of a vehicle.
You can define a pedestrian as someone walking, running, sitting, standing, lying down, or hiking, and becoming involved in a traffic accident. The accident stats provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) don’t include those on roller skates, skateboards, scooters, strollers, or similar, which would mean the figure was likely a lot higher.
One pedestrian death is one too many, but why are we seeing thousands of them? As a law firm that handles pedestrian injuries, we’ll outline some of the most common causes below.
Some people get complacent about their driving abilities when they’ve spent years behind the wheel. These drivers may even feel they know the road and their vehicle so well that they can confidently eat, text, use a phone, chat with passengers, or do something other than focus on driving. A distracted driver is ultimately a dangerous one.
In Texas, pedestrians have the right of way. A distracted driver may not have time to stop for a pedestrian trying to cross the street. Therefore, it’s one of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents in the United States.
Drugs and alcohol can affect a person’s driving skills, reasoning, and reaction times. These are all crucial to have when you’re operating a motor vehicle. Braking two seconds too late or not managing obstacles and hazards due to drug and alcohol use can be fatal for an unsuspecting pedestrian. It is always unfortunate when someone under the influence injures someone else in an accident. If a pedestrian is hit by an inebriated driver, they should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
For the last 20 years, a third of all motor vehicle fatalities in the US have been linked to speeding. Even this sobering statistic is often not enough to make everyone abide by the laws. The faster you go, the harder it is to navigate the road and slow down to avoid hazards and obstacles.
As pedestrians have the right of way, they may be crossing the road at any time. If you’re speeding, there’s no guarantee you will have enough time to slow down and avoid a collision.
Vehicles backing out of driveways or parking lots cause thousands of pedestrian accidents annually. In fact, there were over 10,000 accidents just in 2019 involving vehicles in the reverse position. While reversing cameras can help avoid accidents, they can’t remove the risk entirely.
Pedestrians have a part to play in watching out for vehicles backing up. Still, drivers must also ensure their path is clear before exiting their driveway or parking spot.
Failure to Yield/Stop
An alarming number of pedestrian accidents are caused by drivers failing to stop or yield when required. As a driver, it’s essential to pay attention to all road signs and markings to ensure you abide by the law.
Most drivers are aware of how important it is to drive to the conditions, particularly in fog, snow, rain, and ice. However, failure to do so accounts for a large number of pedestrian accidents annually. Adverse weather conditions can affect your ability to make an emergency stop, drive naturally, and see the road clearly.
Poorly Maintained Roads
Not every road you travel on is going to be perfectly paved, free of potholes, and with the ideal amount of grip. Drivers must learn how to drive to the conditions on all roads to keep themselves and others safe. Surprisingly, one of the many common causes of pedestrian accidents is related to roads not being adequately maintained.
Vehicle Equipment Failure
Regular servicing and maintenance can go a long way to ensuring we’re safe on the road. When we’re safe, those around us are a little bit safer, as well. Though, vehicle equipment failure can cause pedestrian accidents.
Some of the most common reasons given regarding vehicle equipment failure in pedestrian accidents include:
- Tires – tread wear and blowouts
- Airbags – failure to deploy or deploying when they shouldn’t
- Floor mats – slipping beneath the gas or brake pedal
- Seat belts – failing to stay in place
- Steering systems – failing to provide control
Have You or a Loved One Been Involved in a Pedestrian Accident in Texas?
Whether it’s because of any of these causes above, or something else, you may be entitled to compensation from the driver of the vehicle, and J. Alexander Law can help. Contact us today to find out what your best course of action could be.