Each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, nearly 5,000 pedestrians die in motor vehicle related accidents. Every time you walk outside around vehicles, you run the risk of coming into contact with one and suffering injuries. Sometimes this may be the fault of the vehicle, and sometimes the fault of the pedestrian. When a pedestrian is injured by a vehicle, they are entitled to damages after they prove the negligent party. The truth is, there may be many parties who can be held liable for these accidents. Here are ways in which both parties have duties that they owe to each other:
Driver’s Duty of Care: Drivers make the decision to be careful on the roadways the day that they receive their license. This means that they must always exercise reasonable care in everything they do. If they do not and it causes an accident, this is known as negligence. Some of the biggest factors in driver negligence include distracted driving, speeding, failing to yield to pedestrians, disobeying traffic signs, disregarding weather, and driving under the influence.
Pedestrian’s Duty of Care: You may not have known it, but pedestrians must also exercise reasonable care for their own safety. If a pedestrian was not utilizing care and a driver hit them, contributory negligence may come into play. This means that they contributed to the cause of their own injuries. Some of the reasons why this may occur is through ignoring the walk signal at an intersection, entering into traffic, failing to use crosswalks, or darting in front of a vehicle.
The Common Causes of Accidents
There are many reasons why these injury-causing and sometimes-fatal accidents occur. You may not have known it, but the majority of accidents happening involving pedestrians will happen in the road, with many of them happening on city streets. Here are the most common causes of these accidents:
Unmarked Crosswalks: There are many pedestrian accidents that happen at intersections. However, using a crosswalk will lessen the chance of this happening. When a crosswalk is clearly marked, the likelihood of an accident greatly decreases.
Left-Hand Turns: Unfortunately, a crosswalk won’t protect pedestrians every time. The statistics show that three times as many pedestrians will be hit by vehicles turning left than by those turning right because both parties are looking in different directions. The drivers pay more attention to the intersection and the pedestrian is looking straight ahead in many cases, leading to accidents.
Electronics: You may think that drivers are the only ones texting, but this is not the case. In fact, studies showed that 8% of accidents occur while pedestrians are using cellphones and music devices.
Dark Clothes: 70% of pedestrian accidents happen at night due to improper lighting and dark clothes, many say.
Alcohol Use: Drivers and pedestrians alike will sometimes make the foolish decision to use the roadways after drinking. Many fatal accidents happen because a pedestrian was drinking, in fact.
Now that we understand the many causes of most pedestrian accidents, we can work to change things for the better. By working together, we can prevent these serious or fatal accidents from happening in the first place. Call us today if you have been injured in a pedestrian accident and need our help. At Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi, we care about you and your case.