The most recent available statistics show that, in the U.S., nearly 5,000 pedestrians are killed every year in traffic collisions involving pedestrians. Another 150,000 sustained injuries requiring emergency room care. This means that every two hours, a pedestrian dies from a car crash. According to the Los Angeles Times, California leads the nation in number of pedestrian deaths with 700 killed in 2014.
Pedestrian injuries can be life-changing. Head injuries, broken bones and internal injuries are all common injuries in auto v. pedestrian accidents. Sometimes, injuries can result in a need for a lifetime of medical care. These types of pedestrian accidents may be due to unsafe road conditions, driver negligence, failure of the pedestrian to exercise proper safety measures, or a combination of all these factors. Below we explore some of these factors:
Unsafe Road Conditions
Federal, state and even local governments have a duty to maintain safe roads. When they fail to do so, and pedestrians are killed or injured as a result of the governmental entity's negligence, they may be liable and required to pay damages for the injuries or deaths that result. Some examples of unsafe road conditions are:
- Lanes of traffic are too narrow.
- Speed limit is too high for the area.
- Inadequate lighting of the roadway.
- Missing or non-functioning signal lights at intersections.
- Failure to provide flashing lights signaling a hazard ahead.
Driver Errors That Cause Pedestrian Accidents
More commonly, auto v. pedestrian accidents involve the vehicle operator's negligence. Some of the most common driving errors include drivers who:
- Fail to stop for pedestrians at an intersection that does not have a marked crosswalk. Whether there are marked lines specifically delineating a crosswalk, drivers need to assume that every intersection comes with a crosswalk and pedestrians have the right-of-way.
- Speed so they are unable to stop in time when they see a pedestrian.
- Turn without signaling or watching for pedestrians.
- Drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Ignore weather conditions and drive at unsafe speeds even if under the speed limit.
- Are distracted by talking on the phone, texting, putting on make-up, eating or any activity where they take their eyes off of the road.
- Drive while fatigued which is as dangerous as drunk driving.
Pedestrian Errors That Contribute to Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrians are sometimes at least partly responsible for their own injuries. As a pedestrian, you need to exercise caution in the following areas:
- Cross only at marked crosswalks.
- Even if there is a marked crosswalk, do not assume cars will stop. Make sure the vehicle is coming to a stop. Do not just dart into the road.
- Obey traffic signs. Stop when the light says stop. Do not cross unless the signal gives you the okay. Many pedestrians enter the crosswalk after the “do not cross” signal has appeared. Doing so may be at your own peril.
- Wear visible clothing if walking at night.
- Avoid texting, talking on the phone, looking at a map or any other distracting activity while crossing the street. A distracted pedestrian is more likely to be hit than one who is paying attention.
- Avoid “drunk walking.”
If you were injured in a pedestrian accident, or someone you love was killed, contact a knowledgeable Pasadena personal injury lawyer at The Aslanian Law Firm, PC for a FREE CONSULTATION. Call (626) 696-2001 or contact us online.
The material on this web site has been prepared and is copyrighted by The Aslanian Law Firm, PC. The material is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The material is not guaranteed to be correct, complete, or up to date.