Are You Safe When Walking Legally in an Intersection?
Most of us are pedestrians more times than we think. When we walk, jog, or run for exercise, walk and use public transportation instead of our motor vehicles, or go to a destination in a downtown area, we are pedestrians. Unfortunately, even if you are a safe pedestrian and use the crosswalk to cross an intersection and otherwise obey traffic rules, you are in serious danger of being the victim in a pedestrian accident.
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), 4,375 pedestrians were killed in 2013 and GHSA anticipated a similar number of deaths in 2014. In addition, GHSA found some trends in pedestrian accidents:
- 70 percent of pedestrian fatalities occurred between 6:00 pm and 6:00 am
- 73 percent of fatalities occurred in urban settings
- 76 percent of pedestrians who died were between 20 and 76 years of age
Why Do Motorists Hit Pedestrians Crossing Intersections?
Many pedestrian accidents occur at intersections when a person is legally crossing the street in a crosswalk or where he otherwise has the right-of-way. Crosswalks are places designed to make a pedestrian safe, but are often anything but that. Common reasons intersection accidents occur include:
- Distracted driving. Avoiding a pedestrian accident requires a motorist to have his eyes and mind on the road at all times—especially on busy Atlanta area roads—to see people and children darting out into an intersection when the light turns green.
- Speeding. Speeding is always dangerous. When a motorist is speeding through an intersection because he is in a hurry or to beat a light, he is more likely to hit an unsuspecting pedestrian and cause even more horrific injuries due to his increased speed.
- Running a red light. When a driver is running a red light, there is a good chance that he is speeding through it, with deadly results for a pedestrian who has the right-of-way. Trying to beat a yellow light can cause similar accidents.
- Negligently passing another vehicle. When a driver is passing another vehicle when it is not legal to do so, he can be so focused on getting ahead of the vehicle that he does not see a pedestrian entering an intersection.
- Improper right turn. If a motorist does not check carefully before making a right turn at an intersection, he can miss a pedestrian darting into the road.
- Intoxication. Drivers who drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol have slower reaction times, have more difficulty seeing, and make poorer decisions when driving. This can make an accident with a pedestrian even more likely—and dangerous.
- Poor visibility. Pedestrians are small and difficult for motorists to see in even good driving conditions. When drivers are not using extra caution at night or in low-visibility weather such as rain, fog, or ice, they can fail to see a pedestrian. Driving with a dirty windshield can also cause a deadly accident.
- Weather conditions. Drivers must slow down when roads become slippery due to rain, ice, or snow. When they fail to do so, they can lose control of their vehicles and tragically slide into a pedestrian.
- Vehicle defects. When a motorist drives his vehicle without repairing maintenance issues, such as the brakes or steering column, he could lose control of his vehicle or become unable to stop at an intersection.
Pedestrians Can Suffer Devastating Injuries in Intersection Accidents
Pedestrians can suffer catastrophic injuries even when the vehicles hitting them are going at a slower speed. There is no protection between the victim’s body and the massive vehicle—no matter what model it is—hitting him. Common injuries pedestrians suffer in these accidents include:
- Back and neck injuries
- Herniated discs
- Fractured and broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries that sometimes cause partial or complete paralysis
- Eye injuries and vision loss
- Hearing loss
- Lung injuries
- Other internal organ damage
- Internal bleeding
If you or a loved one were hurt in a pedestrian accident, David Brauns may be able to help you obtain the compensation you will need to recover from your injuries and get back to your life. Start an online chat today or call us toll free at 877-401-6689 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with David.