Most pedestrian fatalities occur as a result of negligence from a driver or pedestrian. To avoid being involved in such a devastating event, it is best to know where pedestrian accidents are most likely to occur.
Accidents such as these can lead to severe injuries, causing victims to endure a long road of recovery. If a pedestrian is the victim of such an accident, they may be able to take legal action to receive compensation for their medical treatment and other damages incurred.
Statistics of Fatal Pedestrian Accidents
When looking at fatal pedestrian accident statistics, more than 7,000 pedestrian deaths involving a motor vehicle were recorded on U.S. roads in 2020. This calculates to around one death every 75 minutes.
In the State of Michigan alone, 65 pedestrian fatalities were reported in 2019, and 70 were reported in 2020. In more recent studies, the adjusted preliminary fatality number for 2021 is even higher at 77.
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Where do Most Pedestrian Accidents Occur?
People may often walk in areas that are not specifically designed for pedestrians, such as highways or busy streets with narrow shoulders or no sidewalks. Fatal pedestrian accidents may occur in these spaces because motorists may not expect pedestrians to be present, unlike in other areas.
In this situation, the drivers are not ready to encounter individuals or groups walking along these roads. However, they are still responsible for driving in a way that keeps pedestrians safe.
The main reason for fatal pedestrian accidents occurring in urban areas is because of the high level of pedestrians and motorists nearby. Both motorists and pedestrians must be on high alert at all times when moving through high traffic in congested spaces.
Most pedestrian fatalities occur between cars and pedestrians at intersections. This is a result of individuals crossing the road and motorists failing to yield. These accidents can occur in the following situations:
- A pedestrian crossing in front of a motorist going straight or turning left.
- A pedestrian crossing in front of a motorist while they are turning right.
Some of the main reasons why fatal pedestrian accidents occur at intersections include:
- The driver or pedestrian fails to assess a situation accurately.
- Making false assumptions about what a driver or pedestrian will do.
- Proceeding with limited visibility.
- Traffic violations such as U-turns.
- Distracted driving.
- Poor judgment about the distance between the cars.
Though not top ranked for where most pedestrian fatalities occur, sidewalk accidents can happen. In this situation, most sidewalk pedestrian accidents occur because of distracted, drunk, or drowsy driving. In these scenarios, it is the driver’s condition that prevents them from fully controlling their vehicle, which can result in an accident.
Factors Contributing to Pedestrian Injuries and Fatalities
- Alcohol: Alcohol negatively affects drivers in many ways, making them unable to judge space and time correctly. If a drunk driver notices a pedestrian, alcohol can prevent them from stopping soon enough or reacting quickly to avoid hitting the individual.
- Speeding: Drivers who speed have a higher chance of striking pedestrians. This is especially relevant in urban areas with individuals walking, running, or jogging in the neighborhood. If drivers are speeding, they will not have enough time to slow down to avoid a pedestrian accident.
- Parking Zones: Accidents often occur in parking areas as a result of a driver not looking before backing up or a pedestrian walking past a car without noticing the reverse lights.
- Pedestrian Accidents Are More Likely at Night: Most pedestrian fatalities (75%) occur in the evening between 6 pm and 9 pm, compared to daylight hours. Poor judgment of proximity for both drivers and pedestrians is one of the main reasons for more of these accidents occurring at night.
- Pedestrian Behavior: If a pedestrian crosses an intersection while the crosswalk sign signals not to walk and is hit by a moving vehicle, the pedestrian is the cause of the accident. Other examples include pedestrian crossing prohibited areas such as roadways, freeways, and highways, which can easily lead to an accident.
- Distracted driving: Distracted driving is among the most dangerous of all negligent driving behaviors, as this puts everyone else on the road at risk for accident and injury. Cell phones are said to be the most common cause of distracting drivers.
- Weather: Poor weather conditions can affect the driver or pedestrian’s visibility, making them unable to identify a potentially dangerous situation.
- Drowsy driving: Pedestrians are at risk for accidents that are caused by drowsy drivers, especially late at night and early in the morning. Drowsy drivers can fall asleep at the wheel, causing them to hit a pedestrian.
- Failure to Use Turn Signals: If a driver fails to use a turn signal before pulling into a spot, a pedestrian accident can occur as a result of a pedestrian walking into an area while a car pulls in.
Pedestrian Safety Tips
To avoid a fatal pedestrian accident, one can follow these pedestrian safety tips:
- Pedestrians should wear reflective clothing when walking at night and stick to well-lit areas.
- Stick to sidewalks when possible and avoid walking in designated bike paths, bike lanes, or roadways.
- Be alert, and don’t assume a driver will automatically stop for a pedestrian crossing an intersection. Pedestrians should also monitor the speed of the vehicle as the driver approaches the crossing.
- Look in all directions before crossing the street, and never cross the street without a crosswalk signal. If there is no pedestrian walk light, the pedestrian should only cross when traffic coming their way is at a complete stop at a newly turned red traffic light.
- If one has to walk on the road, walk facing traffic, not against it, as one can also easily monitor how fast cars are approaching and get out of the way quickly if necessary.
- Avoid walking with headphones or earbuds, as this can prevent one from hearing or noticing some of the signs of a quickly approaching vehicle or dangerous situation.
Hiring a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Can Help
By making oneself aware of where most pedestrian fatalities occur, such devastating situations can be avoided. Even though some of these accidents may not be fatal, the effects can be long-lasting, making legal assistance necessary.
Our team is here to help our clients receive the justice and compensation that they deserve.