Each year, a significant number of automobile-pedestrian accidents occur. They happen to people crossing busy streets or highways, people working on broken down vehicles along the side of the road, children playing in residential neighborhoods and to people taking walks in their towns. Sometimes the driver stops. Sometimes they’re hit and run accidents. Virtually all of these events can be avoided with a little more caution.
A motor vehicle operator is deemed to be negligent if the individual’s failure to act with reasonable care causes the accident and someone suffers injuries as a result. Some of the most common driving behaviors that lead to accidents involving pedestrians include:
- Distracted driving like changing music, texting, or talking to passengers
- Driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Failing to use caution when the driver’s view is obstructed
- Failing to yield at a crosswalk
- Running red lights, stop signs, and other traffic signals
- Turning right through a crosswalk without looking for pedestrians
When motor vehicles collide with pedestrians, there is a significant risk that serious injuries or even fatalities will occur. Some of the most common injuries incurred include brain injury, broken bones, head trauma, lacerations, or paralysis. Pedestrian accidents frequently result in extensive hospital bills, lost wages, and emotional suffering costs. In many situations, determining exactly how the accident occurred can be particularly difficult.
There are several safety precautions that motor vehicle drivers can take to avoid being involved in accidents with pedestrians. These safety tips include the following:
- Always stop at stop signs. Motor vehicle operators must come to a complete stop when approaching stop signs. Drivers who do not fully observe their surroundings are at risk of colliding with a pedestrian.
- Always yield to pedestrians. In many instances, motor vehicle drivers must legally yield to pedestrians. Even motor vehicle operators who believe that they have the right of way should allow pedestrians to cross the street safely.
- Avoid driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A large number of automobile accidents involving pedestrians include the use of either alcohol or drugs.
- Check for pedestrians before turning. Because drivers likely cannot see pedestrian traffic signals, it is a wise idea to first determine whether any pedestrians are nearby before turning.
- Put down your cell phone. Cell phones distract a large number of pedestrians and motor vehicle operators alike and contribute to many serious accidents.
As a driver, please remember that pedestrians do not always see you. And when you’re out and about, please be sure to keep a good lookout for automobiles.