When we think of dangerous driving, we often think about the effects it has on other drivers. That is understandable since dangerous driving happens on the road, it is more likely to affect other vehicles on the road. Unfortunately, sometimes the effects of dangerous driving spills off the road and affects pedestrians. Needless to say, the effects can be devastating since pedestrians are not protected in the way a driver surrounded by a metal enclosure is. That means a pedestrian who gets hit by a dangerous driver could face serious injuries and even death.
Any pedestrian injured in an accident caused by a reckless driver can receive compensation to take care of the expenses caused by the accident. They will need the help of a pedestrian accident lawyer because the accident victim will need to file a personal injury claim and will have to deal with the insurance company of the responsible driver. That can be difficult for a layperson, which is why a legal expert is necessary.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
One of the reasons why pedestrians tend to get hit by cars is that they tend to be much less visible so drivers may not even realize that pedestrians are in their path. There are many different causes for pedestrian accidents but the following are among the most common:
Distracted Driving - This is when the driver is not focused on driving their vehicle and is doing something else such as texting, eating, or grooming. Distracted driving is bad for everyone but is particularly bad for pedestrians because they are even less noticeable than cars to a distracted driver. That means the driver could end up hitting a pedestrian who has the right of way.
Speeding - It is not difficult to see why speeding is so dangerous to pedestrians. A speeding driver has very little time to react, which means that there is little that they can do if a pedestrian unexpectedly appears in front of them. Not to mention that the injuries a speeding car can cause to a pedestrian could be very serious, and even life-threatening.
Driving While Intoxicated - A driver who is intoxicated has slower reaction times and poorer judgement than a sober driver. That means they have a much lower chance of being able to react in time to avoid hitting a pedestrian who crosses their path. An intoxicated driver may not even notice the presence of a pedestrian, meaning that there is a higher likelihood that they will collide with them.
Ignoring Traffic Signals and Road Signs - When a driver ignores a red light or stop sign, it has the potential to cause an accident with pedestrians as well as other cars. That is because the driver could easily hit a pedestrian who has the right of way.
Left-hand Turns - These are a common cause of traffic accidents involving other cars and motorcycles because the driver is focused on the road ahead of them. They may not notice that pedestrians with the right of way are crossing the road and can accidentally run into them.
Poor Weather Conditions - Drivers should exercise caution in conditions where the road is slippery and/or visibility is obscured. If they do not, then they run the risk of colliding with other vehicles as well as with pedestrians.
Back-up Accidents - Cars reversing out of driveways or parking spaces can be a risk to pedestrians because the drivers are often focused on whether a vehicle is oncoming and may not check if a pedestrian is in their way.
Other Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
It would be unfair not to mention that in some cases pedestrians are the ones responsible for causing an accident. A pedestrian who is intoxicated or distracted can wander into the path of an oncoming vehicle without noticing. Even an attentive driver who was obeying the rules of the road might not be able to react in time to a pedestrian that suddenly appears in front of them.
How To Avoid Pedestrian Accidents
The best way to avoid an accident with a car if you are a pedestrian is to always be alert and avoid walking on the road. You should always be on the lookout for approaching vehicles and never make the assumption that they can see you. That means you should cross the road at crosswalks only once you see that approaching vehicles have stopped or slowed down. You should also try to avoid wearing dark clothing at night in areas that are not well lit since it can make it harder for drivers to see you.
Walk Safely to Avoid Accidents
While most accidents involving pedestrians are the fault of the driver, there is a lot that pedestrians can do to avoid those accidents, or at least reduce the chance that they will occur. By paying attention, using designated crosswalks, and staying alert, pedestrians will reduce their chances of getting into an accident. But if they do, then they should contact a personal injury attorney to help them get the compensation they need to t