Accidents between motor vehicles and pedestrians are extremely dangerous and often end in at least one fatality. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Association reports that roughly 5,000 pedestrians die each ear in car accidents, and, an estimated 76,000 are injured. Even worse, research by the Governors Highway Safety Association shows that pedestrian fatalities are on the rise. In order to prevent more pedestrian car accidents from occurring, we’ve provided some basic facts to help both pedestrians and drivers.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Car Accidents
Nearly half of all pedestrian car accidents are caused by driver intoxication. Drunk drivers have a slower reaction time, which can cause them to overlook traffic signals, obstacles, and pedestrians. Pedestrian car accidents can also be caused by distracted driving, speeding, and a failure to obey traffic laws. Accidents may also be caused by pedestrian error, especially if the accident happens outside of a crosswalk or other designated pedestrian walkway. Inattention, carelessness, or failure to use a designated crosswalk are all common pedestrian errors.
Typical Pedestrian Injuries Include:
- Concussions or other head trauma
- Back and neck injuries, including whiplash
- Broken bones
- Lacerations or road rash
- Chest injuries
- Abdominal trauma
- Pelvic injuries
Driver Duty of Care
Everyone on the road has a certain responsibility to act with care in order to keep everyone else on the road safe. For example, if a driver is also texting, whey are not showing reasonable care and could be held liable if their careless act directly results in an accident that harms another person. Drivers are expected to yield to pedestrians, obey traffic laws, follow the speed limit, and should never drive while under the influence of either drugs or alcohol.
Where children are concerned, drivers are expected to exercise even greater care. Children at play may dart into the street in the pursuit of a ball, or may not look both ways before crossing the street. The presence of children should put every driver on high alert, especially care in areas like school zones, parks, or residential areas.
Pedestrian Duty of Care
Similarly, pedestrians should also show duty of care by acting to preserve their own safety. They should take care to avoid any danger, and should not do anything that could increase their chance of injury. For example, a pedestrian should not cross the street where there is no safely designated crosswalk.
Who is Responsible?
Generally, responsibility for an accident rests with whoever did not show proper duty of care. If a car hits a person, it may not always be the driver’s fault. In many cases driver negligence, such as drunk driving, texting and driving, or failure to yield, will cause a driver to strike a pedestrian. However, if a pedestrian is texting and does not look before stepping into the street, outside of a designated crosswalk, when a car strikes him, the pedestrian is likely liable for being negligent to his own care.
Contact the Law Office Of Robert W. Kovacs, Jr.
At our firm, we handle pedestrian car accidents from both sides. Whether you hit a pedestrian while driving, or you were struck by a vehicle as a pedestrian, our car accident attorneys can help. Our legal team has a thorough understanding of pedestrian laws in Massachusetts, and we have ample experience fighting for the rights of our clients.
To discuss your case, contact the Law Office of Robert W. Kovacs, Jr. and schedule a free consultation.