Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrian accidents occur when a person on foot is involved in a collision with a vehicle. These accidents can happen anywhere, resulting in severe injuries and even death. Thousands of pedestrians are injured and killed yearly in traffic crashes in the U.S.

While some accidents occur due to unforeseeable circumstances, many pedestrian accidents are caused by factors that can be prevented with increased awareness and attention to safety by drivers and pedestrians. Let’s explore the most common causes of these accidents and how we can reduce their occurrence.

Pedestrian Accidents


One of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents is speeding. Drivers exceeding the speed limit on roads are more likely to have reduced reaction time and increase the likelihood of hitting pedestrians. This can lead to severe injuries or even fatalities. Drivers should observe speed limits and adjust their speed for traffic and other conditions.

Driving Under the Influence

Driving while intoxicated is another leading cause of pedestrian accidents. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that slows down parts of the brain, resulting in impaired cognitive function. Just two drinks can dull a driver’s alertness and increase their lack of judgment.  Impaired drivers may have difficulty seeing pedestrians and traffic signals, which can result in accidents.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is another common cause of pedestrian accidents. In California, drivers are prohibited from using cell phones and other electronic devices while driving unless they are hands-free.

Drivers who violate the distracted driving laws in California by texting, calling, navigating the GPS, or engaging in other activities can receive fines and points, making them lose their licenses. Furthermore, since distracted driving is illegal in California, pedestrians can easily establish negligence against a texting driver while claiming compensation.

Failure to Yield to Pedestrians

Pedestrians have the right of way at marked or unmarked crosswalks and intersections. Drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians at crosswalks or intersections can cause severe pedestrian accidents. Failing to yield to pedestrians can lead to fines and other legal consequences for drivers.

Unmarked Crosswalks

Motorists are more likely to exercise caution when they see lights or marked crosswalks that signal the possibility of pedestrians being present. Unmarked crosswalks or those relatively inconspicuous can lead to accidents as they may not be noticeable to drivers, especially if they are not paying enough attention.

Left-hand Turns

Even when pedestrians cross the street on marked crosswalks, drivers making left-hand turns are usually focused on oncoming traffic and forget to look out for pedestrians. In fact, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 22% of all pedestrian accidents that occurred at crosswalks in 2020 resulted from drivers making a left-hand turn. Drivers only have the right of way when the signal displays a green left arrow, not just when the light is green.

Poor Weather Conditions

Poor weather conditions can also contribute to pedestrian accidents. Rain, fog, and snow can reduce visibility and make it more difficult for drivers to see pedestrians. Pedestrians, too, may be unable to see approaching vehicles in poor weather conditions. Drivers should be extra alert when driving in poor weather conditions, and pedestrians should wear reflective clothing to increase visibility.

Where Do Most Pedestrian Accidents Occur?

Pedestrian accidents can occur in various locations, but the most common areas where they mainly occur include:

  • In urban areas
  • In residential areas
  • In school zones
  • On highways
  • At intersections
  • In dark areas

How Can Pedestrian Accidents Be Reduced?

Reducing the incidence of pedestrian accidents requires efforts by drivers and pedestrians. The following are ways to reduce pedestrian accidents:

Avoid Distracted Walking

Just as distracted driving is dangerous, so is distracted walking. Pedestrians should avoid using their phones or listening to music on their headphones as this reduces their awareness of their surroundings. Instead, if one has to text, it is best to stop and finish texting before crossing the street.

Avoid Speeding

Drivers should observe speed limits and adjust their speed on busy streets. If a pedestrian darts into the street, this can give you ample reaction time.

Use Designated Crosswalks

Pedestrians should use designated crosswalks whenever possible. This way, drivers can look out for crossing pedestrians. Pedestrians should never cross in the middle of the street or between parked cars, as drivers may not anticipate movements in such areas.

Never Assume the Driver s Paying Attention

Pedestrians should never jaywalk on the street, assuming the driver has seen them. Instead, they should try to make eye contact with the driver before crossing the street. This ensures that the driver is aware of their presence and has seen them begin to cross the street.

Wear Bright or Reflective Clothing

Pedestrians should wear bright or reflective clothing, especially when walking at night or in low-light conditions, as this increases their visibility to drivers, reducing the likelihood of an accident.

Compensation for Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrians are at a high risk of severe injuries because they have no protection when walking, jogging, or standing on a sidewalk. In many cases, if a negligent driver hits a pedestrian, they may be able to recover compensation for their losses. This can include:

Contact the Experienced Pedestrian Accident Attorney in Burbank Today

If you have been hurt in a pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages. Contact the experienced Burbank pedestrian accident lawyer today. We can protect your rights and ensure you receive the maximum compensation you deserve.

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