According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2020, 6,516 people were killed in pedestrian accidents in the United States. This equates to one pedestrian being killed every 81 minutes. In addition, around 55,000 pedestrians suffered non-fatal injuries in motor vehicle collisions. While pedestrian accidents can occur nearly anywhere and at all times of the day or night, there are certain factors that play a role in these accidents more often than others. If you or a loved one have been involved in a pedestrian accident, it is important to understand the most common causes so that you can identify the person or parties who were responsible and pursue financial compensation for your damages.
Forms of Driver Negligence That Can Lead to Pedestrian Accidents
Because pedestrians are at risk of being seriously injured when they are struck by vehicles, drivers should take care to protect the safety of people who are crossing the street or walking near the road. Drivers who act unsafely or violate traffic laws can seriously injure pedestrians. Some common violations committed by drivers that may result in pedestrian injuries include:
Distracted driving – Some of the most common—and dangerous—factors contributing to pedestrian accidents involve activities that take a driver’s attention away from the road. This can include anything from talking or texting on a cell phone to looking up directions on a navigation system to fiddling with a vehicle’s radio. Even actions as simple as looking at billboards or objects on the side of the road can distract a driver and put pedestrians in danger.
Driver fatigue – Drivers who are tired or drowsy are much more likely to be involved in pedestrian accidents. Fatigue can be caused by insufficient sleep, working too many hours, or taking medications that make a person drowsy. When a driver is tired, their reaction time is slowed, and they will have more difficulty seeing and avoiding pedestrians.
Driving under the influence – The use of drugs or alcohol by drivers is a major factor in many pedestrian accidents and injuries. Intoxication by alcohol or drugs will slow down a person’s reaction times and impair their judgment. This will make it more difficult for drivers to see pedestrians, and they will likely be unable to make split-second decisions to avoid an accident.
Speeding – When drivers exceed speed limits, they have less time to react if someone suddenly appears in the roadway. This increases the chances of an accident, and higher speeds will increase the severity of injuries if an accident does occur.
Failure to respond to road conditions – Bad weather or other dangerous conditions can contribute to pedestrian accidents and injuries by making it more difficult for drivers to see or navigate around pedestrians. Heavy rain, snow, and fog can all impede a driver’s vision, and accidents may occur if they do not reduce their speed and take extra care to notice and avoid pedestrians. Other factors, such as construction, obstacles in the road, or potholes, can also lead to accidents if drivers do not make the proper adjustments to ensure that they are driving safely.
Contact Our Milwaukee, WI Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
These are just a few of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents and injuries. If you have been involved in such an accident, it is important to understand what may have caused it so that you can take steps to pursue compensation from a negligent driver or others who were responsible. An experienced Milwaukee pedestrian accident attorney at Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP can investigate your accident and determine who may be at fault, and we will provide you with strong legal representation so that you can get the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 414-271-1440 to learn more about how we can help.