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auto-pedestrian accident

With busy roads, rapid growth in Texas cities, and constant construction, it is no wonder accidents involving pedestrians are so prevalent in our state. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 6,283 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in 2018. Even a slowly traveling vehicle can easily inflict a fatal injury upon a pedestrian or bicyclist. When a driver’s negligence causes severe injuries to a pedestrian, the driver may be held legally liable for the resulting damages, including medical costs.


Causes of Auto Pedestrian Accidents

All kinds of situations and actions can give rise to the negligent driving actions that contribute to pedestrian accidents, including:

  • failing to yield to crossing pedestrians
  • failing to check when reversing out of a parking space
  • turning right across a crosswalk without checking for pedestrians
  • speeding—particularly in residential areas or school zones—can cause drives to not be able to slow down when a pedestrian crosses their path
  • failing to obey traffic signs and lights can cause an accident to occur

One of the biggest drivers of pedestrian accidents is the increase in cell phone use. Although cell phones can be incredibly useful, they also cause an increasing number of collisions between cars and pedestrians. Of all individuals on the road, pedestrians are the most vulnerable to distracted drivers. Even though many drivers think they can operate a smartphone and still control their vehicles, this is not the case and this false sense of security has led to many pedestrian injuries and deaths.

Steps To Avoid Auto Pedestrian Accidents

Drivers can take a number of steps to prevent roadway accidents, including:

  • always slow down when approaching a crosswalk
  • be sure to stop for pedestrians
  • double check for and yield to pedestrians before making a turn
  • be cautious when passing buses or stopped cars, as pedestrians may be entering or exiting the vehicle
  • obey the speed limit and road traffic signals
  • never use a cell phone while driving
  • try to avoid distractions while driving

For pedestrians, places like crosswalks and school zones are incredibly dangerous. In particular, parking lot collisions between cars and pedestrians have increased due to people using their cell phones more than they would on the road.

While vehicles protect drivers, pedestrians have no protection in the event of a collision and can suffer serious injuries. A victim could suffer something relatively minor like broken bones or lacerations or more serious injuries like burns, severe scrapes from contact with concrete, skull fractures, concussions, traumatic brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries.

When on foot, it is important to minimize the chance of getting in an accident with a car. Walkers and cyclists should always use sidewalks when available. If not, they need to walk on the left side of the road facing traffic. When crossing the street, always use designated crosswalks. They should be sure to look left, then right, then left again before crossing roads. If there is a car present, pedestrians should make eye contact with drivers before crossing the road in front of them. If walking at night, a pedestrian should wear something visible, bright, and/or reflective. If exiting a car or van, they need to exit curbside and not into oncoming traffic.

Children are particularly at risk of injuries inflicted by vehicles, as they are generally less wary of traffic than adults and may be harder for drivers to see. A child being struck and killed by a vehicle is an unthinkable tragedy, but it can happen when drivers do not observe due diligence.

Injuries can lead to staggering financial burdens for necessary medical treatment. Auto pedestrian accident victims and their families can easily rack up thousands in costs through hospital visits, medications, physical rehabilitation, and special medical equipment such as crutches and wheelchairs; and, if the victim was struck due to the negligence of a driver, they may be able to recover some or all of these costs and more.


Frequently Asked Questions About Auto-Pedestrian Accidents

Is the driver always at fault in a pedestrian vs. car accident?

The driver is not automatically at fault in an auto pedestrian accident, but more often than not the driver is found to be the at fault party. Pedestrians can be found at fault, but it’s rare; however, if a pedestrian acts in a way that makes it impossible for the driver of the vehicle to avoid an accident, they can be held responsible. Usually, the driver is liable in a pedestrian vs. car accident because drivers must be cautious when a pedestrian is potentially going to be present as part of their duty of care given the circumstances in which they are driving.

What is the most frequent cause of pedestrian accidents?

The most common causes of pedestrian accidents are:

  • Drivers failing to check a crosswalk for pedestrians and/or failing to yield the right of way to pedestrians at crosswalks
  • When drivers are speeding or driving too fast for the weather and/or road conditions
  • Distracted driving, especially texting and driving
  • Driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs or other such substances
  • Drivers disregarding traffic signs and signals
  • Drivers failing to signal while turning

Almost every single cause of a pedestrian accident can be attributed to a driver’s failure to maintain their duty to exercise reasonable care considering the circumstances in which they are driving, meaning they are caused by driver negligence.

Where do pedestrians get hit the most?

Pedestrian accidents can occur anywhere and at any time of day or night; however, there are certain locations where pedestrians get hit the most, including:

  • Urban areas on segments of road with no intersections where they can safely cross – in fact, NHTSA found 81% of all fatal pedestrian accidents occurred in urban areas
  • Intersections
  • Roadsides and shoulders, especially those not specifically designed for pedestrian access
  • Parking lots, garages, and other parking areas
  • Two-lane roads
  • Rural highways
What pedestrians are most at risk?

While all pedestrians – whether walking, jogging, cycling, running, or riding on a scooter – are at risk of being involved in an auto pedestrian collision, certain pedestrians are at an increased risk. Child pedestrians are severely at risk, with 19% of all people killed in pedestrian crashes aged 14 years old and younger. In addition to children, older pedestrians are also at a high risk for a car vs. pedestrian accident due to their impaired ability to move out of the way quickly if a reckless driver is coming at them. Another group of at-risk pedestrians is those who are intoxicated as alcohol can impact one’s judgment while walking just as it does when drunk driving.

What should a pedestrian do when hit by a car?

If you are hit by a car, you should move out of the way into a safe area if you are physically able. Then you should call the police to report the accident, gather information from the driver who hit you and any witnesses, and most importantly seek medical treatment as soon as possible and be sure to document your injuries with photos and video on your mobile phone if you are able. You will also need to contact an experienced car accident attorney to review the facts of your incident to determine the best course of action moving forward.

 

Experienced Auto-Pedestrian Accident Attorneys

If you or a loved one has been struck by a negligent driver while on foot, the experienced auto pedestrian accident attorneys at Adame Garza LLP can review the unique details of your case and determine the best options for you. We know you’re facing a difficult situation, so put our extensive experience successfully handling auto accident claims to work for you. Let our personal injury trial team put your mind at ease and guide you through every step of the process.

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