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Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

Each year more and more people walk as a means of exercise, commuting to work or school, or leisure. In the spring and summer months, the number of pedestrians increases substantially. This increase coincides with a greater risk of a pedestrian accident. In fact, a pedestrian accident involving a vehicle occurs every two hours in the United States. The elderly population accounts for approximately 20 % of those accidents. Tragically, pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely to suffer a fatal accident than a driver. These accidents clearly result in substantial physical injuries, medical bills, and lost income. The experienced attorneys at Slatter Law Firm will aggressively fight to recover the maximum compensation for your injuries.

California tragically has the most amount of pedestrian accidents involving vehicles in the country. In fact, approximately 15% of traffic fatalities involve these accidents. These accidents are caused by various different factors. Below is a description of the most common causes of these pedestrian accidents.

  1. Distracted Driving- Distracted driving is one of the primary causes of these accidents. Distracted driving occurs when a driver’s attention is diverted from the road. Drivers typically become distracted by texting or otherwise using a cell phone; personal hygiene; eating; or adjusting entertainment or air conditioning systems. When a driver becomes distracted in this manner, the driver fails to notice a pedestrian, resulting in a serious collision.
  2. Failure to Stop at Red Light or Stop Sign- Pedestrians are frequently struck by vehicles in crosswalks. Regarding traffic light collisions, California allows vehicles to turn on red lights unless there is a sign indicating otherwise. However, many drivers fail to look both ways prior to turning. This failure often results in drivers not observing pedestrians, causing an accident. These accidents are similarly caused when drivers’ fail to stop at a stop sign.
  3. Speeding- Speeding is another common cause for these accidents. Speeding substantially decreases the brake time to avoid collision with another pedestrian. Therefore, drivers that are speeding increase the risk of harm to pedestrians. Due to the high impact nature of this collision, victims often suffer significant and life-altering injuries.
  4. Intoxicated Driving- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drug poses a substantial risk of harm to pedestrians. In fact, almost half of pedestrian-vehicle fatalities involve alcohol or drug impairment. Intoxicated driving causes reduced awareness of the surrounding and reduced reaction time. These impairments cause drivers to collide with pedestrians.
  5. Weather Conditions- Most accidents occur between dusk and dawn. During this period of time, weather conditions, such as rain, smog, snow, and fog, and rain reduce visibility for drivers. As a result, drivers experience greater difficulty in seeing pedestrians, especially children.
  6. Pedestrian Negligence- Pedestrians’ negligence often cause or contribute to their accident and injuries. Crosswalks are a marked part of the road where pedestrians have the right to cross the road. Crosswalks also signal to drivers to exercise caution because pedestrians may be present. Walk signals inform pedestrians when it is appropriate to cross the road. Crosswalks and walk signals serve to decrease the risk of a pedestrian-vehicle accident. However, pedestrians often fail to use a crosswalk when crossing the road, or walk without having the proper walk signal. If these failures caused the accident, the pedestrian may be partially or completely at-fault.

Pedestrian accidents are governed by the laws of negligence. In most situations, pedestrians have the right of the way. In other words, drivers are required to yield to pedestrians walking in both marked and unmarked crosswalks. Drivers must also generally exercise caution to avoid harm to pedestrians. If they fail to do so, they may be at-fault for your accident and injuries.

Contact Us Today

Contact a Los Angeles personal injury attorney today if you or a loved one were involved in a pedestrian accident. Slatter Law Firm has been helping individuals injured due to pedestrian accidents throughout Los Angeles and Southern California for over four decades. To schedule a free consultation, call our office at (310) 444-3010 or contact us online.