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Leading Causes of Pedestrian Accidents (And How to Stay Safe)

Pedestrian accidents are some of the most dangerous, lethal types of vehicle collisions. The victim is not protected by the hardware of a vehicle. Instead, their body is left to take the brunt force being transferred by the oncoming car. The frail human body stands no chance against thousands of pounds of metal speeding their way, so it often results in devastating, life-threatening injuries.

Back in 2017, almost 6,000 pedestrians were killed in crashes in the United States. That amounts to one life lost every 88 minutes. Those were fortunate enough to live – about 137,000 – were sent to the hospital with non-fatal, yet serious injuries. Since pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely to be struck by a vehicle when compared to individuals in a motor vehicle, it is essential to be fully aware of the leading statistics of pedestrian accidents and how to keep yourself safe from the dangers of the road when out on foot.

A pedestrian accident is one that involves a pedestrian and any moving vehicle, whether it be a motorized vehicle like a car or motorcycle, or a manual one, like a bicycle or scooter. There are certain areas in which you are more likely to be at risk of such an incident, though, so you must be hypervigilant in such places.

These high-risk locations include urban settings and areas lacking intersections. Be extra wary in these locations on the weekend, too, as they are most dangerous during Saturdays and Sundays. This is perhaps due to the higher volume of drivers on the road since people are off work, an influx of reckless drivers celebrating time off, or a combination of the two.

Some of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents include:

  • Distracted driving
  • Speeding
  • A lack of respect for traffic lights and signs
  • A lack of awareness for pedestrians in a crosswalk
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Failure to use a turn signal when driving into a crosswalk

Notice that all of these are on the side of the driver, meaning that you must exercise high awareness when out in public, even as you follow all the rules of the road. Here are a few ways to keep yourself as safe as possible (and make sure that you are never the cause of a pedestrian collision).

How to Avoid a Pedestrian Car Accident

While it may seem that a pedestrian accident is always the fault of the driver, it is possible for you, as the pedestrian, to be at fault as well.

Follow the guidelines below to keep yourself as aware and as safe as possible:

  • When walking in the dark, wear reflective clothing and/or carry a flashlight.
  • Walk only on the sidewalk and other designated walking areas like crosswalks.
  • Avoid walking if you are intoxicated. Even though you are on foot, you are still at risk of wandering into traffic.

Awareness when out in public – whether in a vehicle or on foot – is your best defense against a collision. Be aware of the most common ways that pedestrian collisions occur and adhere to the above guidelines to keep yourself as safe as possible.

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