Pedestrians have a 1.5 greater chance of being killed in a crash than a vehicle’s occupants because, among other things, they have virtually no protection against vehicles. Pedestrians should remember some other unsettling facts about motor vehicle accidents while engaging in the everyday activity of walking near roads and intersections.
There were an estimated 137,000 pedestrians treated in emergency rooms in this country for nonfatal accidents in 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC found that 47 percent of pedestrian deaths involved the use of unauthorized substances by the driver and sometimes pedestrians. An impaired driver is less likely to see pedestrians.
Unlike collisions between motor vehicles, there is generally no such thing as minor accident involving a car and a pedestrian. Pedestrians may be seriously injured or killed, for example, by a car backing out of a parking space. A vehicle going through a parking lot is dangerous if the motorist looks away or does not see a pedestrian because the motorist may hit them and drive away before knowing what happened.
Some motorists do not come to a full stop at red lights. Honking drivers behind them encourage them to run lights.
Drivers making right turns on red are also dangerous for pedestrians. Motorists divert their attention at oncoming traffic without looking out for pedestrians. Many drivers do not even stop before turning right on red. Taking three extra seconds before turning can help spot pedestrians in intersections.
Other risks include driving at night. Pedestrians are less visible at night, even when wearing light clothing. Drivers who had a more difficult time driving at night pay more attention to the road instead of anyone in front of them.
Walkers, bicyclists and other pedestrians injured in a crash may face costly medical expenses and lose time from work. An attorney can help them pursue fair and reasonable compensation and represent them in negotiations and court proceedings.