Pedestrian accidents are so dangerous that they deserve special consideration. When you are on foot, there is absolutely nothing to protect you from the impact of an accident. To call such incidents accidents is somewhat misleading. While motorists rarely purposefully run down pedestrians, hitting a pedestrian while driving is more than a mere accident. Every driver takes on an immense responsibility when he or she gets behind the wheel, and that is to – first and foremost – drive safely. It can be said with utmost authority that a motorist who hits a pedestrian (unless the accident is caused by the pedestrian’s negligence) is not living up to his or her responsibilities.
Negligence and the Law
The law recognizes that we all make mistakes, but we must also all take responsibility for the consequences of those mistakes. This is the premise behind personal injury law. Generally, this responsibility involves monetary compensation for the damages inflicted. When an accident involves a pedestrian, the damages are often considerable.
Pedestrian Accidents Happen
The fact is that pedestrian accidents happen, and they are exceedingly dangerous. The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center shares statistics that highlight exactly how dangerous they can be, including that:
- In 2017, nearly 6,000 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in the United States.
- In 2017, pedestrians and bicyclists accounted for 18.2 percent of the total traffic fatalities (in 2003, they accounted for 12.6 percent).
- Pedestrian fatalities are on the rise.
Whether you are on foot or behind the wheel, always make safety your top priority when you head out for the day ahead.
Distraction and speed play a major role in pedestrian accidents. Distracted drivers are dangerous drivers who endanger everyone with whom they share the road, including pedestrians. The higher the driver’s speed, the more dangerous he or she becomes. There are other factors that can also contribute to dangerous pedestrian accidents, such as driver impairment and/or fatigue.
The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shares that pedestrian accidents in crosswalks and intersections are common. These sites represent the confluence of foot traffic and motorized traffic, and dangerous accidents can ensue. Drivers who fail to yield the right of way to pedestrians are a big part of the problem.
Drivers take on the immense responsibility of safely sharing our roadways with everyone who travels on them, including pedestrians. Motorists are responsible for seeing the pedestrians in their midst and for responding safely to their presence.