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Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

Distracted Driving Accounting for Significant Increases in Pedestrian Accidents


According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, nearly 6,000 pedestrians were killed by motor vehicles in 2017, a 9% increase over 2016 and nearly 20% higher than just two years earlier. Officials attribute some of the rise to the higher number of motorists on the road and the more time people spend behind the wheel, a byproduct of cheaper gasoline costs.

Researchers also say that more and more drivers are operating a vehicle while distracted. A poll found that 94% of teen drivers admitted to sending or receiving text messages while driving. At any given time, studies showed, more than 600,000 drivers are using a mobile device while traveling down the road. The National Safety Council estimates that 1.6 million accidents every year are caused by drivers using a cell phone…that’s one of every four car accidents.

Here are some of the other common causes of pedestrian accidents in the United States:

  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol—One of every six pedestrian accident fatalities in 2016 involved a driver whose blood alcohol content was over the legal limit
  • Violation of traffic laws—The two infractions most often involved in pedestrian accidents are speeding and failing to stop or yield at a sign or light.
  • Weather conditions—Drivers either fail to stop on slippery roads or fail to observe pedestrians in inclement weather.
  • Turning without looking—A significant number of motor vehicle-pedestrian accidents are caused when motorists turn into a crosswalk without looking.
  • Motorists backing into pedestrians—When backing up, motorists often have views that are partially obstructed.

Contact Attorney David J. Karbasian

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