Did you know that pedestrians account for nearly 20 percent of all traffic deaths? Non-fatal pedestrian accidents are also responsible for over 100,000 emergency room visits each year. Adults 65 and older, as well as children 15 and under, are at higher risk for pedestrian accidents than other age groups. Contrary to popular belief, these incidents are more likely to occur in urban areas, not intersections.
Considering these statistics, what are some of the top causes of pedestrian accidents?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, alcohol played a role in nearly half of all fatal pedestrian accidents in 2019. About one-third of pedestrians and 13 percent of drivers involved had a blood alcohol concentration over 0.08.
Speed increases risk of an accident, including those involving pedestrians. A speeding driver may not have enough time to stop once they realize someone is crossing the road. Studies have also shown that higher speeds increase injury severity and fatality rates.
Right of Way Issues
Failing to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians is a factor in about 70 percent of accidents at intersections, often occurring near crosswalks and intersections with traffic lights.
Jaywalking, or crossing the road where there is no crosswalk or intersection, also heightens the risk a driver won’t have sufficient time to stop for a pedestrian. Accident risks increase if a person walking does not look before crossing, they dart into traffic or appear from behind a parked vehicle.
While some factors are within our control, such as wearing bright or reflective clothing, poor weather conditions can affect how well drivers see pedestrians crossing the road. To anticipate this issue, drivers should make sure their headlights are working properly and pay attention to their surroundings, especially after dark.
Reckless Driving Behavior
Reckless behaviors behind the wheel that can increase risk of hitting a pedestrian include:
- Texting or talking on the phone while driving
- Disobeying traffic laws at intersections and crosswalks
- Acting impatiently in areas where pedestrians may be crossing
- Failing to slow down in school zones
- Speeding through a work zone
- Intentionally not yielding to pedestrians
Road design can increase pedestrian accident risks. Common factors include:
- Construction sites that require pedestrians to walk in the road
- Intersections where vehicles make a left turn into where pedestrians cross
- Multi-lane roads, especially those without crosswalks or lights
- Defective traffic lights
- Unmarked or old, worn crosswalks that can cause confusion for drivers
Ways to Stay Safe as a Pedestrian
- Consider wearing a reflective vest or carrying a flashlight to increase visibility
- Avoid jaywalking and only cross at marked crosswalks and intersections
- Walk on the sidewalk whenever possible
- Limit use of electronic devices while walking
- Do not go for a walk under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Always look both ways to make sure the road is clear before crossing
Pedestrian Accident On the Rise in Connecticut
According to Watch for Me CT, a statewide campaign to reduce serious injuries and fatalities, pedestrian accidents are “a crisis”. The state could surpass the highest number of fatalities in 2022 due to drivers speeding and failing to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians.
Were you the victim of a reckless driver and are now facing missed work and mounting medical bills? Trust Trantolo & Trantolo’s experienced team of pedestrian accident lawyers to get the compensation you deserve. To learn more, contact us today.