When we think of car accidents, we often think about two cars crashing into each other. We do not often consider that there are thousands of pedestrian accidents every year that lead to mild and serious injuries, and even fatalities. There are many ways one would be involved in a pedestrian accident and many reasons why they happen.
Why are Pedestrian Accidents so Dangerous
The main reason these accidents are so dangerous and devastating is that pedestrians are not protected when they are struck by a car. This, combined with the weight and velocity of the vehicle, makes such accidents very traumatic.
Also, there is the additional chance that the movements of the driver and pedestrian as they try to prevent the accident from happening can lead to an even bigger accident.
Understanding how they happen and why they are so dangerous, let’s investigate the causes of pedestrian accidents.
Factors Related to The Driver
Several factors that lead to these accidents have to do with the drivers.
Speeding is one of the leading causes of car accidents, including pedestrian accidents. When drivers drive too fast, they may not have time to stop or react to avoid hitting a pedestrian. Additionally, the pedestrian will not have enough time to get out of the way to avoid getting struck.
In such cases, the driver is liable for the accident, and you can file a personal injury suit to get compensated. You will need a lawyer for such cases because they typically involve insurance companies and their lawyers, and it is a bad idea to try to deal with them on your own.
Distracted driving occurs when a driver is not focusing on the road or their driving. It typically happens when a driver is doing something else when driving, such as eating, drinking a beverage, changing the radio station, or using their smartphone.
Distracted driving is dangerous not only to the driver and pedestrians but also to every road user because you never know who the driver will hit when their eyes are not on the road and their mind is not on the driving.
No one should get behind the wheel of a car when drunk. Driving while intoxicated or under the influence increases the risk of accidents multiple times. This is because drinking alcohol increases reaction times, impacts reasoning, and causes compromised decision-making.
Factors Related to Pedestrians
Let us now look at the cause of pedestrian accidents attributed to pedestrians.
In the age of smartphones and social media, millions of people walk around looking down at their phones instead of focusing on their surroundings. Pedestrians can also put themselves in danger without knowing it. For example, they may walk onto a road when a traffic sign says they have to stop. With cars going by at speed because they have the right of way, an accident becomes very likely to happen.
Some people do dangerous things that can be classified as negligence. For example, some people want to cross where there is no crossing, dart in and out of traffic, cross a road when they do not have the right of way, or not use the sidewalk and instead walk on the road. All of these negligent actions lead to pedestrian accidents.
Factors Related to Road and Its Features
There are also factors that cause pedestrian accidents related to the road and its features. A common one is defective traffic lights. In such a case, neither the pedestrian nor the driver knows who has the right of way, so an accident happens.
Another is unmarked or faded crosswalks. If the driver does not see a crosswalk, they may not be on the lookout for pedestrians. If someone tries to cross the road because they expect a crosswalk there, they are likely to be struck by an oncoming vehicle.
The last one is left-hand turns. Left-hand turns are tricky for drivers because they have to concentrate on driving while checking for oncoming vehicles. They must also consider who has the right of way and whether the road is clear. They might get mentally overloaded doing all these at the same time and forget to check for or consider pedestrians.
The Consequences of Pedestrian Accidents
One of the consequences of pedestrian accidents is injuries. Pedestrians can suffer different types of injuries, including bruises, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, temporary or permanent disability, internal organ damage and traumatic brain injury. The injury’s severity depends on the collision’s speed and force.
Loss of life is a possible tragic outcome of any pedestrian accident. Losing a loved one in such a tragic event as a car accident can have a devastating and long-lasting impact on families and friends, causing grief, emotional pain, and significant changes in their lives. In such cases, the family should consider filing a wrongful death lawsuit to hold the driver responsible.
Pedestrian accidents can also place a significant financial burden on the victims and their families. Injured victims will have substantial medical bills from hospitalization, surgeries, rehabilitation, and ongoing medical treatments. They may also require long-term care or assistance, which can result in additional costs.
Furthermore, lost wages due to injuries or disabilities that make it difficult for the victim to continue working can further strain the financial stability of the victims and their families. Hiring a personal injury lawyer is recommended to ensure you get compensated for the hardships you will go through due to loss of employment, wages, and inability to work.
In addition to the civil suit, there might also be additional legal consequences where the driver is charged for reckless driving, assault depending on the state, and other charges depending on the cause and outcome of the accident.
Pedestrian accidents are quite common and have different causes and consequences. Their causes can be due to factors related to the driver, pedestrians, or external factors to do with the road. Their consequences can range from injuries and fatalities to legal proceedings. Huge medical bills are also common after these types of accidents.
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, you should talk to us.
You can visit our offices at 10208 101st Ave Ozone Park, NY 11416 or call now for a free consultation at (718) 441-5050.