According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), California had the highest number of pedestrian deaths in 2015. Nationwide, there were 5,376 pedestrians died in traffic-related accidents, a 9.5 percent increase from the number of pedestrian fatalities in 2014. In California, 742 people died in pedestrian accidents during 2015. Pedestrian deaths represented almost a quarter of all traffic fatalities that year.
While many of these deaths occur in cities and urban areas, pedestrians in rural areas must also be aware of the dangers posed to pedestrians by motorists. Even when crossing at an intersection or crosswalk, pedestrians can be in danger. The fact is that anywhere you are walking you are in danger of an accident if there is any traffic near to where you are walking. Understanding the common causes of pedestrian accidents can help you take steps to avoid being injured by a careless or negligent driver.
Be Aware of These Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Causes of pedestrian injuries and deaths in California include:
- Distracted Driving — Technological distractions is a very common cause of pedestrian accidents. Drivers who are texting, talking on a cell phone, using social media, checking their emails, watching videos, listening to music, programming a GPS, or surfing the internet cause many of the traffic accidents each year, including pedestrian accidents. These drivers are paying more attention to the electronic device instead of paying attention to their surroundings.
- Impaired Driving — Drivers who are impaired by drugs or alcohol cannot judge speed, depth, and distance as well as sober drivers. Therefore, an impaired driver can think he is avoiding a pedestrian when he is really headed directly for a collision with the person.
- Weather and Adverse Conditions — Rain, fog, smog, dusk and dawn can increase the risk for pedestrian accidents because of a lack of visibility. Drivers may not see pedestrians because of the decreased visibility associated with these conditions or times.
- Quiet Vehicles — Vehicles are not nearly as loud as they once were; therefore, pedestrians may not hear a car approaching. Hybrid vehicles or electric vehicles are extremely quiet and can pose a significant risk for pedestrians.
Even though driver error and other conditions that are beyond the control of the person often cause an accident, pedestrian negligence is also a common cause of injuries. Pedestrians walking while distracted is a common cause of accidents as are pedestrians who are impaired by drugs or alcohol. Jaywalking and failing to obey traffic rules and signals are other reasons why pedestrians are injured.
Filing a Pedestrian Accident Claim
Pedestrians who are injured in a traffic-related accident have the same rights to recover compensation for their injuries as motorists who are injured in a traffic accident. If a negligent motorist injures you, you must file an injury claim against that driver to receive compensation. Just as with other accident claims, your time to file a claim is limited, and insurance adjusters will try to pay as little as possible to settle your claim.
Contacting a Fresno pedestrian accident attorney can be very helpful. Our attorneys handle everything related to your injury claim from investigating the cause of the accident and identifying the liable party to negotiating with the insurance company and fighting for full compensation for all damages.
For a Free Consultation, Call our Fresno Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Call Torem & Associates at 1-800-954-4444 or use the contact form on our website to request more information or schedule your free, no-obligation case evaluation with a California pedestrian accident attorney.