Pedestrians Also Bear Responsibility in Avoiding Vehicle Accidents
Nearly 5000 pedestrians are killed annually in the United States by automobiles, that’s an average of of 1 automobile-pedestrian death every two hours. According to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 150,000 pedestrians were treated in emergency rooms for non-fatal injuries after being struck by an automobile in 2013. Which begs the discussion of Why People Get Hit: Eight Causes of Pedestrian Accidents.
- Crosswalks – Many accidents occur due to the driver neglecting to yield pedestrians the right of way at crosswalks. Crosswalks that are not clearly defined and marked present the greatest risk of getting hit by an automobile, as do those without a crossing signal. Nevertheless, some pedestrians will ignore the crossing signal, often walking against it.
- Improper Lane Use – Most pedestrian-vehicle accidents occur on city street – nearly two-thirds. Bicycle riders can also collide with pedestrians or force them into traffic.
- Turning Vehicles – Collisions occur while vehicles are making right-hand turns on red lights, and not looking for pedestrians legally crossing. Nearly three times as many pedestrians are struck by vehicles making left hand turns due to the both parties attention being elsewhere.
- Distractions – Nearly ten percent of pedestrian-vehicle accidents are caused by pedestrians distracted while using their cell phones and other devices.
- Quiet Vehicles – Hybrid and battery-operated vehicles are nearly 40 percent more prone to hit a pedestrian as pedestrians depend on their hearing, as well as sight, to detect approaching traffic.
- Dark Clothing – Statistics indicate that most of these collisions occur after dark. Wearing brightly-colored clothing and carrying a small flashlight may reduce the number of accidents after dark.
- Alcohol and Drugs – Alcohol and substance abuse greatly increases the risks of accidents, in fact the number of impaired pedestrians is higher than the number of drivers involved in accidents, by nearly a third.
- Arterial Roads – Arterial roads or major roads are designed more a lot of traffic from secondary roads to freeways in urban areas. Walking is more commonplace in these areas as are bus stops, thereby increasing the risk for pedestrian-vehicle accidents.
In general, those most at risk for getting struck by a vehicle are the elderly and children under the age of 14 years. The majority of deaths as a result of being struck by a vehicle are higher in urban locales, crossing a road at a point other than a designated crosswalk, and at night time.