According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 5,977 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in the United States in 2017. Furthermore, an additional estimated 137,000 pedestrians were treated in emergency departments for nonfatal crash-related injuries during the same year. Some of these accidents can be avoided by following the proper precautions. The following article will discuss some of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents and will also provide a few helpful tips for pedestrians to protect them from these kinds of accidents.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents?
Pedestrian accidents can result from any number of factors. There are a few common causes of these kinds of accidents though, which include:
- Distracted or reckless driving
- Drunk driving and/or driving under the influence (DUI)
- Excessive Speeding
- Failing to stop at marked stop signs/ lights
- Hazardous road conditions (for example, rain, snow, or fog)
- Low visibility (for example, while driving at night)
- Pedestrian negligence (for example, jaywalking or distracted walking)
Tips for Avoiding Pedestrian Accidents?
Unfortunately, not all pedestrian accidents can be avoided. However, there are a few tips that pedestrians can follow to help protect them from getting into these kinds of accidents. Some of these tips include:
- Never assume a driver sees you. One of the most important tips for pedestrians is to never assume that a driver sees you attempting to cross the street. This is especially true at night. Pedestrians often assume that a driver will see them and will stop accordingly before hitting them. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. A driver may be distracted and fail to see you in time. Additionally, low visibility (at night or during inclement weather, for example) can make you very hard to see. If it appears that the driver does not plan to stop in time for you to safely cross, do not enter the road.
- When possible, you should only cross at marked intersections. Some pedestrian accidents occur because pedestrians choose to jaywalk across the road instead of using designated intersections. When a pedestrian jaywalks across a random area of the road, a driver is less likely to be able to stop in time to avoid hitting the pedestrian. Also, before you enter an intersection, make sure that you look both ways before crossing. Drivers frequently run red lights so you don’t want to assume that it is safe for you to cross until you confirm that for yourself.
- Stay alert. When crossing the street, you should always make sure that you remain focused on your surroundings. Don’t preoccupy yourself with electronic devices or other distractions because it only takes one second of walking distracted into the road to cause an accident. If you are distracted while walking in the road, your reaction time will be delayed, which means that you may be unable to quickly avoid danger (for example, an oncoming vehicle) once you perceive it.