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Pedestrian Accidents: Where and When Do They Happen?

By Renee Nordstrand on November 26, 2020

Every few years, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) releases a report on how many pedestrians were hit and injured by vehicles and under what circumstances those collisions occurred. These reports can give pedestrians and drivers an insight into when to pay close attention to traffic, when to slow down, and when to be careful. After all, when a car hits a pedestrian, the pedestrian will likely be severely injured, and no one wants to be the cause of someone else’s suffering.

Limited Visibility

It may come as no surprise to you that a majority of pedestrian accidents happen during conditions that make it difficult for drivers to see. This includes during the night, bad weather, and poorly designed roads. While drivers should always drive slowly during the early morning or late evening, not all do. They can easily speed at sharp turns or curved hills, completely unaware that someone is in a crosswalk.

While headlights should always be used during poor weather or at night, they can only reach so far. If a driver is speeding, their headlights may not illuminate you until the vehicle is already too close for the driver to fully stop. Wearing reflective clothing when you are out in the morning or at night can help reduce the chance of being hit. While drivers do owe a duty of care to everyone on the road, your first priority should always be your own health and safety.

Dangerous Spots on the Road

Again, unsurprisingly, a majority of pedestrian accidents happen in urban settings, rather than suburban or rural. While rural and suburban streets are often not as well-lit as urban ones, there are usually fewer drivers and pedestrians in such areas. People also usually drive slower to accommodate the winding roads and low light conditions. Due to both of these factors, walking around in an urban setting, especially if you are not on the sidewalk, can be much more dangerous than walking around in a rural one.

What may come as a shock is the fact that most accidents do not happen at intersections. While it may seem logical that the area that pedestrians use to cross the road would be the most dangerous, it has actually proven to be relatively safe. This could be because of several factors. First, because intersections and crosswalks are understood to be for pedestrians, drivers may drive slower in these areas. If they know to watch for pedestrians, most drivers will automatically be a little more cautious. Another factor could be that intersections usually have stop signs or traffic lights to control the flow of traffic. If pedestrians and drivers pay attention to these signs and follow the right of way, then there shouldn’t be any accidents.

In fact, the most dangerous place that a pedestrian can be is on the side of the road. While the lack of sidewalks in some areas makes it next to impossible to not end up on the side of the road every once in a while, the truth is it can be very dangerous for pedestrians to enter the road at any point that is not specifically marked for them. This is because drivers may only look for pedestrians in the marked areas, assuming that no one will be on the road. Thus, they may not pay close enough attention and cause a serious accident.

Recovering From an Accident

If you have been involved in a pedestrian accident, chances are you have been severely injured as a result. Pedestrians simply are not able to withstand a collision with a vehicle, especially if it’s a high-speed collision. We at NordstrandBlack PC understand that you are likely feeling traumatized and alone. That is why we want to offer our help. As expert Santa Barbara car accident attorneys, we can help you get the compensation you deserve. For excellent legal help in Santa Barbara, and all of California, call our firm at (805) 962-2022 to schedule a free consultation.

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