More than 6,500 pedestrians are hit by cars and killed in the U.S. every year. Sadly, this represents an increase of almost 60% since 2009.
If you spend your fair share of time behind the wheel of a car, you should do what you can to avoid getting into a pedestrian accident. You can do this by learning about the most common causes of pedestrian accidents and doing your best to steer clear of them.
There is, unfortunately, always a chance that a pedestrian could run out in front of you when you least expect it and cause an accident to occur. But you should be able to reduce the chances of ever getting into pedestrian-related car accidents by taking a few simple steps.
Here are five of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents and what you can do to prevent them.
Are you someone who has gotten into the habit of driving faster than the speed limit at all times? If so, you’re going to be at an increased risk of getting into pedestrian accidents.
The faster you drive around town, the less time you’re going to have to react if you see a pedestrian crossing the street at the last second. You won’t have enough time to slam on the brakes and avoid them.
By simply slowing down, you’ll provide yourself with the space and the time you need to hit the brakes if someone crosses the street suddenly in front of you. This isn’t always going to be an option when you’re speeding.
2. Going Through Yellow/Red Lights
Most people learn what yellow and red lights mean when they’re still in kindergarten. They know that yellow lights mean to slow down and red lights mean to stop.
Yet, many drivers will still use yellow and red lights as mere suggestions as opposed to demands. They’ll speed up when they see a yellow light to avoid getting stuck at a red light, and they’ll run through red lights at times, too, when they know that a yellow light just turned red.
Many pedestrians will look both ways when crossing a street at a traffic light just to make sure there aren’t any cars still coming through. But technically, they shouldn’t have to do this, so it’s hard to blame those who start crossing the street without giving any thought to the possibility of a car speeding through a yellow or red light.
If you happen to hit a pedestrian in this case, you will be in the wrong for failure to stop. A pedestrian will be able to learn more about hiring a lawyer to file a lawsuit against you.
3. Improper Passing
If you see a car stopped in front of you and you can’t immediately figure out why, you may be tempted to pass them. But this could prove to be trouble if they happen to be stopped to allow pedestrians to cross the street.
It’s why you should always slow down to see why another car is stopped before cruising right around them. Improper passing could lead to you hitting pedestrians that you won’t see until the last second.
You should be especially careful about any cars that might be stopped in areas where kids could be crossing the street while going to and coming from school. You should also be careful when you see school buses stopped, regardless of whether or not they have their lights on.
4. Distracted Driving
It’s so easy for people to get distracted when they’re out driving. You could argue that distracted driving alone is likely the reason why the number of pedestrian accidents has spiked over the last 15 years.
When you’re driving your car, you should limit distractions as much as you can. This will mean staying off your phone. It will also mean avoiding playing with your car radio, your GPS, and anything else that might lead to you taking your eyes off the road.
If you turn your attention to something other than the road in front of you for more than a split second, it could end up being catastrophic. You could get into a pedestrian accident and not realize it until it’s too late.
5. Drunk Driving
Thankfully, drunk driving isn’t as prevalent as it used to be. Most people know that it’s a terrible idea to drive a car after they’ve had even just one or two drinks. It can impair their judgment and result in them getting into car accidents.
Intoxicated drivers are more likely to get into pedestrian accidents than drivers who are sober. So if you’re someone who likes to take chances by driving after you’ve been drinking, you should cut this out right away. Otherwise, you might end up injuring or even killing someone who is out walking around while you’re driving drunk.
Avoid Pedestrian Accidents at All Costs
There are always going to be pedestrian accidents taking place throughout this country. But there is no reason for there to be as many of them as there are each year.
You can do your part to prevent pedestrian accidents by keeping the causes of them in the back of your mind. You can also do it by staying away from doing things like speeding, texting and driving, and driving after you’ve been drinking.
Would you like to get some more tips on leading a safer lifestyle? Find them in the other articles that have been published on our blog.