Maryland Personal Injury Lawyers Discuss Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrians are at a much greater risk of being seriously injured or killed when struck by a vehicle compared to passengers in a vehicle because there is nothing physically protecting them from the impact. In 2013 alone, 4,735 pedestrians were fatally injured in traffic accidents in the United States and another 150,000 were treated in emergency rooms for non-fatal injuries. By raising awareness and observing simple safety tips, more pedestrian accidents can be avoided and lives can be saved.

Individuals Most Likely to be Injured in a Pedestrian Accident

Anyone who is out walking in an area where there are cars or other vehicles is at risk of being hit, but certain groups of people face a higher risk of being injured or killed by an automobile collision.

  • Elderly: A study conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) revealed that approximately 20 percent of all victims of fatal pedestrian accidents were people over the age of 65. According to the study, nine percent of all pedestrian injuries were elderly individuals.
  • Children: One-fifth of children killed in car accidents were pedestrians, not passengers. Children are at particularly high risk of being hit by a car during holidays such as Halloween and Christmas, along with during the summer and at crowded events such as parades.
  • Alcohol-Related Accidents: According to the DOT, almost half of all pedestrian accidents involve alcohol in some way, either by the driver or the pedestrian.

Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

  • Low Visibility at Night: As daylight fades, it becomes more difficult to see pedestrians who are walking at night. Reflective clothing that can be seen by motorists is crucial, but not all pedestrians remember to do this, which can put them at greater risk of being injured or killed.
  • Crosswalks: Crosswalks are a common place for pedestrian accidents to occur. Distracted motorists may not see a pedestrian crossing until it is too late. Oftentimes, a pedestrian may cross the street without realizing how fast a car is going.
  • Inclement Weather: Pedestrian accidents are more likely to occur when there is heavy rain or snow that affects a driver’s ability to see. Moreover, slick, icy roads increase the likelihood of skidding, making it difficult to stop quickly for a pedestrian.
  • Commuting by Foot: Pedestrian commuters, as well as tourists who are not familiar with the area, are at greater risk of being involved in an accident. Tourists who are not familiar with a country’s public transportation may be more likely to wander onto a one-way street.

Tips to Avoid Being Hit

While these may sound simple, the following steps can help keep pedestrians safe while out walking, especially at night.

  • Carry a flashlight or wear reflective clothing. Using a flashlight or wearing a safety reflective belt can save your life. Anything that can help motorists see you walking at night is a step worth taking.
  • Walk in groups. It is easier for oncoming motorists to see a group of people rather than a single individual.
  • Always use extra caution in inclement weather.

Maryland Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of Pedestrian Accidents

If you or a loved one has been seriously or fatally injured in a pedestrian accident, contact our Maryland personal injury lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We are committed to securing the maximum financial compensation for your injuries and ensuring that the parties responsible are help liable. For a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.

Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie and Towson, allowing us to represent victims of negligence throughout Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Parkville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood and Elkridge.