February 20, 2023
Pedestrian Accidents: Common Causes and Prevention
One of the most traumatic kinds of car accidents involves pedestrians. These kinds of accidents do, regrettably, occur due to the large number of pedestrians who use the sidewalks each day.
If you or a loved one got injured because a vehicle hit you, you may have grounds to hold the driver responsible for your injuries or damages. To build your pedestrian accident lawsuit, you can work with a Richmond Hill Injury Lawyer at Michelle Linka Law.
While there are things you can do after the fact, there are also certain precautions you can take to prevent such circumstances. Understanding the factors that lead to pedestrian accidents can help you avoid certain risks and reduce the number of injuries and fatalities every year.
Pedestrian Accidents: Top 8 Leading Causes
In Canada, hundreds of pedestrians are killed in car and other vehicle accidents each year. Ontario alone has an annual average of over 100 deaths over the past 10 years.
In 2021, at least 58 people were killed and 183 more were seriously injured on the streets of Toronto.
The most common causes of pedestrian accidents are:
1. Distracted Drivers
Texting or talking on the phone while driving can put pedestrians and other drivers in danger. Likewise, pedestrians focusing on their mobile devices while crossing streets put themselves at risk for vehicle-pedestrian accidents. To avoid accidents, never use mobile devices while walking or driving.
2. Unmarked Crosswalks
Every year, pedestrian crossings probably save hundreds of lives. What makes this effective is their obvious markings. When motorists see lights or street signs that might be used by pedestrians, they are more likely to be cautious.
Unfortunately, not all pedestrian crossings have clear markings. Others either have faded paint or are marked in a relatively subtle manner. Even if you can cross a road without jaywalking, driver inattention can put you at risk of a serious — even fatal — pedestrian accident.
3. Bad Weather Conditions
Bad road conditions, especially black ice, may render a driver unable to fully control their vehicle at crucial moments. Dangerous walking conditions may also cause a pedestrian to fall into the path of an unsuspecting motorist. Additionally, ice and rainwater have the potential to cause automobiles to leap the curb and hydroplane into crosswalks.
4. Impaired Drivers
Everyone on the road, particularly pedestrians, is in danger when drivers operate their vehicles while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Accidents involving pedestrians can occur when impaired drivers drive through crosswalks against the traffic lights or make uncontrolled turns into a group of pedestrians. Pedestrians should keep an eye out for impaired motorists, especially at night.
5. Failure to Yield Right of Way
A motorist must allow a pedestrian to cross the road before driving through an intersection or crosswalk if a traffic signal tells the pedestrian to proceed onto the crosswalk.
The failure to yield right of way occurs when either a motorist or a pedestrian violates the law by moving ahead without giving the other party priority, such as when a vehicle fails to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.
6. Poor Visibility
Visibility on the road can be reduced by a number of factors, which can result in collisions between motorists and pedestrians. These factors include:
- Objects or vehicles on the side of the road
- Vehicles with poor headlights
- Bright lights shining in a pedestrian’s
- Poor weather conditions
- Pedestrians wearing dark clothing at night
When poor visibility is a factor in a pedestrian accident, liability may fall on pedestrians, motorists, or other parties, such as the city or a road crew. However, pedestrians and motorists alike ought to exercise caution in the event of poor visibility. Accidents involving pedestrians frequently result from negligence.
7. Vehicles Making Left Turns
When turning left, the driver must cross over the other lane of traffic, something they don’t have to do when turning right. As a result, their attention may be diverted away from pedestrians and toward other automobiles. This could lead to disaster.
Always keep an eye out for drivers who might be turning left into your lane. If this is the case, your best bet is to assume that they have no idea you’re there and proceed with caution as you cross the street.
8. Multi-Lane/Arterial Roads
It is possible for arterial roads to pose a threat to pedestrians. Drivers have to deal with other drivers changing lanes, speeding, changing lanes in an unsafe way, and tailgating. Some drivers do not bother to look out for pedestrians or even pay attention to traffic signals.
Ways to Prevent Pedestrian Accidents
Drivers and pedestrians alike ought to place a high priority on preventing these collisions, which can result in injuries or even fatalities.
- Always keep an eye out for people walking. Drivers should always be on the lookout for pedestrians who might not always be walking in the right direction.
- Slow down. You will be better able to stop or react to a pedestrian if you follow all posted speed limits.
- When you see a pedestrian crossing a street, slow down far enough away from the crosswalk. This also makes it possible for other approaching vehicles to see the pedestrian.
- You should stop if a vehicle is stopped at a crosswalk. Never pass a crosswalk-bound vehicle.
- When you have poor visibility, be extra careful. When it’s raining or dark outside, pedestrians are harder to see, so you need to pay more attention to the road.
- Under no circumstances should you drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Be cautious of crosswalks and speed limits in school zones and neighbourhoods.
- Accidents involving pedestrians are especially prevalent at night and in bad weather. Carrying a flashlight and/or putting on reflective clothing can make you more visible in oncoming traffic.
- When possible, cross streets at marked crosswalks. It is worth it to walk a little bit out of your way to use a nearby crosswalk for the reduced injury risk.
- Take caution when there is no marked crosswalk. Wait for a sufficient gap in traffic to cross any road in a well-lit area with good visibility.
- Utilize any accessible sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, always walk with traffic in front of you.
- Never assume that a motorist sees you. When drivers approach you, try to make eye contact to ensure that they see you.
- Avoid walking on interstates, freeways, and other roads that do not allow pedestrians.
- When going out for a walk, do not consume alcohol or drugs. A pedestrian’s judgment and capacity to appropriately respond to a situation can also be impaired by these substances, just as they can impair a driver’s judgment.
Get Help from a Richmond Hill Injury Lawyer
Michelle Linka Law may be able to assist you if you were injured in a pedestrian accident in Richmond Hill and the nearby areas. Our legal team represents victims of pedestrian accidents in personal injury lawsuits and settlement negotiations,
We may be able to assist you in obtaining compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages if you were struck by a negligent motorist while you were a pedestrian. If you were a driver who was hurt in a car accident that was caused by a pedestrian’s negligence, you may also be eligible for compensation.
Call Michelle Linka Law at (416) 477-7288 for a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced Richmond Hill Injury Lawyer. We may be able to represent you without requiring an upfront payment on a contingency fee basis.