Even if you aren’t behind the wheel of a vehicle, roads and streets can be dangerous places. Every year, there are thousands of collisions between pedestrians and motor vehicles—many of which lead to serious injury or even death.
It’s important to better understand the causes of these accidents and take steps to prevent them from occurring in the first place. It’s the responsibility of both pedestrians and drivers to prevent these accidents.
But if you are involved in a pedestrian accident in Colorado, you should immediately call on an experienced Denver personal injury lawyer. These professionals can help you understand the legal implications of your accident and determine the best course of action.
If warranted, they will ensure that you receive fair and full compensation for your injuries. They’ll even negotiate with insurance companies and other lawyers on your behalf. Here, we’re taking a closer look at pedestrian accidents, how they can be avoided, and what to do if you happen to be involved in one.
What are the Top Causes of Pedestrian Accidents?
While every accident is unique, there are common causes of many pedestrian accidents. By identifying these causes, we can work to keep both drivers and pedestrians even safer on our roadways.
Here are the most common causes of pedestrian and motor vehicle accidents:
- Distracted driving.
- Driving under the influence (drugs or alcohol).
- Impatient drivers.
- Poor weather conditions (rain, snow, sleet).
- Poor visibility (due to weather or time of day).
- Road construction.
- Pedestrians making illegal road crossings.
- Vehicles making left turns.
How to Prevent Pedestrian Accidents
As you can see, poor (or illegal) driving habits account for the majority of accidents between drivers and pedestrians. However, it’s important to note that both drivers and pedestrians need to be responsible whenever they are on roadways.
By crossing a street without a crosswalk or walking out at night along a road without reflective colors, pedestrians can put themselves at risk and causes an accident. But there are strategies that everyone can adopt to help prevent pedestrian accidents.
Here are some ways to keep everyone safer on the road:
Always stay focused on the road: since distracted driving is one of the leading causes of pedestrian accidents, drivers need to always commit their full focus to the road and the act of driving. Even taking your eyes from the road for a few seconds can lead to a serious accident.
Never drive under the influence: even just one alcoholic drink can impair your ability to safely operate your vehicle.
Obey posted speed limits: speeding can limit the amount of time the driver has to respond to changing road conditions. Driving too fast, especially in poor conditions like bad weather or road construction, can quickly put everyone at risk.
Only cross at designated crosswalks: you may be tempted to cross a street just anywhere to reach your destination sooner, but it isn’t worth the risk. Always wait for a light or designated crosswalk, and even then, be aware of oncoming cars. Even in a crosswalk, a driver may be distracted.
Wear bright clothes or reflectors: this is especially true if you’re walking near a road at dusk or night. Visibility drops significantly at night and if a driver can’t see you the potential for an accident rises. Always wear bright colors when walking by a road, especially in rural areas that may not have sidewalks.
Walk toward traffic without sidewalks: in areas that do not have a designated sidewalk, make sure you’re walking toward the flow of traffic so that drivers can see you. Of course, it’s advisable to avoid areas without designated pedestrian zones, but at times, you may not have a choice.
Remain alert and aware: never assume that a driver can see you, especially when crossing a road. Always stay alert and aware of your surroundings. Avoid listening to music or being otherwise distracted while walking near a road or highway.
What to Do if You’re Involved in a Pedestrian Accident
If you’re the victim of a pedestrian accident, know that you’re not alone. After receiving proper medical care, one of the first calls you should make is to an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer. These personal injury attorneys can help you understand your case and determine whether or not you’re eligible for financial compensation.
If so, they’ll do everything they can to ensure you get fair and full compensation for your injuries. Often, following an accident, your insurance company may try to lowball the settlement offer. After all, these are still for-profit companies at the end of your day.
A personal injury lawyer specializing in pedestrian accidents will defend your rights and work to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve. If necessary, they’ll even fight for you in court.
Conclusion – How to Prevent Pedestrian Accidents
A collision between a motor vehicle and a pedestrian can lead to serious injuries or even prove fatal. While there are thousands of these pedestrian accidents every year in the United States, there are steps that both drivers and pedestrians can take to prevent these accidents and make our roadways safer.
For drivers, be sure you’re always focused on the road. Distracted driving, whether using your cell phone, talking with passengers, looking at your Google maps, or simply daydreaming, has quickly become one of the leading causes of all types of motor vehicle accidents—pedestrian accidents included.
You should also never drive under the influence and take special precautions during poor weather or driving at night. Going just a little slower during bad weather or road construction can prove critically important.
For pedestrians, always obey traffic signals, stick to posted sidewalks, and wear bright colors or reflectors if walking at night. Awareness and caution for both drivers and pedestrians are essential to prevent pedestrian accidents and to make our roads safer for everyone.