When a pedestrian involved accident occurs the burden of injury suffered on the individual and the families can be overwhelming. The driver of the car is usually considered to be at fault, even if the pedestrian was not in a crosswalk. Careless or negligent drivers are the primary cause of pedestrian injuries for a variety of reasons.
The Facts About Pedestrian Injuries
Pedestrian fatalities are on the rise in California as reported by the Department of Transportation, rising from 601 in 2010 to 972 in 2019. Fatality rates were highest among the vulnerable populations such as the elderly 85-plus, while there tends to be more injuries among teens aged 15-19 years. Not surprisingly, most fatalities regardless of age occur between the hours of 6 p.m. and midnight.
Common reasons behind pedestrian-involved accidents include drivers speeding or distracted, pedestrian’s lack of safety awareness, and poor city planning. Other factors include crosswalk safety, pedestrian visibility, vehicles backing out of a driveway and hit-and-run.
The vast majority of pedestrians who are hit in crosswalks are struck by vehicles making left-hand turns. Other common factors include pedestrian visibility due to darkness of night or the pedestrian wearing dark clothing – making it difficult for drivers to see the pedestrian. Both drivers and pedestrians encountering a crosswalk can also be distracted due to texting or talking on a phone.
Vehicles backing out of a parking lot or driveway sometimes fail to observe what’s going on behind them and end up striking or backing over unsuspecting pedestrians. Hit-and-run pedestrian accidents often involve drunk or impaired drivers or cellphone-distracted drivers. Sometimes a driver will accidentally strike a pedestrian on an isolated road and react by fleeing from the scene out of fear.
Pedestrian Injuries May Vary
Most pedestrian vs. vehicle injuries result from vehicle and ground impacts. Adults tend to experience trauma to the head and neck, legs and pelvis, tibial plateau fractures and ligamentous injuries of the knee, as well as traumatic brain injuries. The most common injuries seen in pediatric pedestrian collisions tend to be traumatic brain injuries and musculoskeletal injuries, followed by chest and abdominal injuries. In musculoskeletal injuries the upper and lower legs and knees are most frequently injured, which can lead to long-term disabilities. Head injuries are generally more life threatening.
Post Pedestrian Accident-Caused Suffering
Pedestrian injuries can be very costly to an individual and family, considering the full burden of medical costs, legal and court costs, emergency services and potential loss of income. Also included in the mix of consequences are the less measurable aspects such as lingering pain, sudden disability, and the emotional impact on the family situation. Severe injuries of this type can also lead to psychiatric conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder and challenging episodes of depression.
When You Need Help
Crossing the street as a pedestrian, wherever there is auto, truck, or bike traffic can be dangerous. Pedestrians have the right to seek compensation from anyone who negligently harms them. Contact the Law Offices of Dr. Russell W. Sawyer for a free consultation. We can be reached by email or by phone at (707) 888-1118.
Article sources: 1) United States Department of Transportation https://cdan.nhtsa.gov/–2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2859736/