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8 Major Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

pedestrian crosswalkAccording to a recent study by the Auto Insurance Center, Los Angeles County leads the nation for the highest rate of pedestrian deaths. Every year, more than 200 people on foot are killed in the greater LA area, and pedestrian knock-downs account for a staggering 33 percent of all traffic-related deaths in the county. Sadly, the majority of these victims are the most vulnerable of our residents: the elderly and children walking to and from school.

In many of these accidents, loss of life was entirely preventable, had both drivers and pedestrians followed the rules of the road, paying attention to their surroundings, particularly near poorly marked crosswalks or high-speed boulevards where collisions are more likely to happen.

More than 70,000 pedestrians are seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents every year. Some collisions are cut and dry when it comes to liability: a drunk driver swerves onto a sidewalk and mows down a teenager walking home from school. In other accidents, determining the at-fault party can be much more complex.

In an effort to reduce the number of needless tragedies, we’ve compiled a list of the leading causes of pedestrian accidents in the United States.

Top 8 causes of pedestrian accidents

  1. Unmarked Crosswalks – Los Angeles County is riddled with poorly and unmarked pedestrian crosswalks, and statistics show that the majority of knock downs occur at busy intersections. Well-marked pedestrian pathways are crucial to reducing the number of accidents and deaths.
  2. Distracted Driving – It’s no secret that our culture has a smart phone addiction, and increasing numbers of collisions are attributed to motorists who are texting, chatting or otherwise distracted while driving.
  3. Distracted Walking – The ‘no texting’ laws should also apply to pedestrians, who are more prone to walking into traffic when using their mobile devices. NYU Langone Medical Center found that 8 percent of NY pedestrian accidents happened while the victim was using their cell phone or iPod.
  4. Improper Lane Use – is among the top culprits in pedestrian knockdowns. Bicyclists who use a pedestrian sidewalk can force walkers into busy traffic.
  5. Left-Hand Turns – Data shows that pedestrians are more than 3 times as likely to be struck by a car making a left-hand turn, compared to a right turn at intersections, as the driver is focused on traffic and the walker is looking straight ahead.
  6. Reduced Visibility at Night – The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that 70 percent of all pedestrian accidents occur after the sun goes down, when drivers may be less likely to spot someone crossing the street. If you are walking during evening hours, you can protect yourself by carrying a flashlight and wearing bright or reflective clothes.
  7. Alcohol use – Intoxication is a contributing factor in thousands of pedestrian-vehicle accidents, with both parties to blame. The Highway Loss Data Institute reports that in 37 percent of pedestrian fatalities, the victim had a BAC above the legal limit. In comparison, drunk drivers were cited in 13 percent of pedestrian collisions.
  8. More cars on the road – Large metropolitan areas like Los Angeles continue to expand with high-speed, multi-lane roads that are packed with increasing numbers of vehicles. Unfortunately, some of these urban thoroughfares are also used by pedestrians, who are at risk for severe injury or death in the event of an accident.

Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyers

Given Southern California’s temperate weather, walking may appear to be an environmentally-friendly and healthy way to get from point A to point B. It’s important, however, to be cognizant of potential dangers at all times. In the aftermath of any type of serious knock-down and injury, it’s in your best interest to speak with an LA pedestrian accident attorney at Ellis Law. Serving Los Angeles for more than 20 years, our legal team provides professional legal representation for victims of personal injury. Call 1-800-INJURED to schedule a free legal consultation.

Additional Pedestrian Accident Causes Resources:

  1. Safety Resource Center, Why People Get Hit: Eight Causes of Pedestrian Accidents https://www.trafficsafetystore.com/blog/why-people-get-hit-eight-causes-of-pedestrian-accidents/
  2. NHTSA, Traffic Safety Facts https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/811625
  3. Curbed, LA Is the Most Unsafe Place in the US for Pedestrians http://la.curbed.com/2016/2/3/10942036/los-angeles-most-unsafe-for-pedestrians