Preventing and Dealing with Pedestrian Car Accidents

According to National Safety Council more than 5,900 pedestrians are killed each year after being hit by cars on US roads and highways with another 85,000 that suffer non-fatal injuries. In fact, one pedestrian dies every two hours after being struck by a vehicle. Almost half of these accidents that resulted in death, 48% to be precise, involved pedestrians and drivers who had consumed alcohol or were under the influence.  Nearly 25% of the reported pedestrian accidents involve children under the age of 15 years of age.

In most situations, pedestrians have ‘right of way’. However, pedestrians are required to follow the given traffic rules which are put in place in order to protect them from car accidents. Unfortunately, car accidents that involve pedestrian mostly have dire consequences.

Who is at fault?

It is true that pedestrians have got the right of way but you shouldn’t assume that pedestrians can never be at fault when an accident occurs. Both pedestrians and drivers are required to practice caution on the roads and highways. The person who is found to be negligent in an auto vs pedestrian accident will be the one at fault.

There are many situations where a pedestrian may be considered at fault when an auto accident occurs. For instance, if the pedestrian did not respect the traffic control signals or was walking in a freeway, highway or bridge (where pedestrian access is not allowed), he/she will be considered to have contributed or caused the accident. There are states that will not allow a pedestrian to recover any damages from the driver if he/she is found to have caused or contributed to the accident. In other cases, both the pedestrian and driver are at fault.

What happens when you leave the accident scene?

 If you have been involved in an auto vs pedestrian accident, do not move unless you are certain that you don’t have any serious injuries. The shock you experience when the accident occurs can make victims not to feel any injuries they may have. Wait until an emergency response team can come and assist you.

If you are in a position to move then watch out for incoming traffic and move to the side of the road then call for emergency help. If you are able to, take a few photographs of the scene and any injuries you may have sustained and make note of the environmental and traffic conditions.

After the accident, the driver may face an insurance claim, a personal lawsuit and in some cases, criminal charges. If alcohol was a contributing factor then the driver will also have to answer DUI charges. If the pedestrian succumbs to death after being struck by a car, an intoxicated driver can be charged for manslaughter.

To avoid pedestrian accidents, drivers need to know ‘defense driving’ and utilize this knowledge when they see people walking, cycling or operating a wheelchair, rollerblade or scooter on the road. A driver needs to be attentive when children and older people are on the road because they are more likely to stray and pay less attention traffic signals. Those who are not inside a car are more exposed to greater injuries during an accident compared to drivers so give them time, space and notice to move out of your way.