According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), research shows an unfortunate uptick in the number of pedestrian accident deaths on America’s roadways in recent years. In the year 2018, our nation saw the highest rate of such fatalities since 1990 — a 3.4 percent jump since 2017, which averaged out to one pedestrian death every 84 minutes. While this data highlights extreme cases, even minor injuries incurred by pedestrians due to negligent drivers can be costly, painful, and life-altering, depending on the nature of the injury.
Which Issues Pose the Biggest Threats?
Considering trends in increasing incidents of pedestrian injury, it is worth taking a look at the conditions and factors that are most often responsible for these accidents. Compiled data from the NHTSA reveals that all of the following factors make a significant difference in a pedestrian’s safety when he or she is en route to a destination:
Poor visibility – Inclement weather, poorly lit conditions, and twilight hours all affect a driver’s visibility on the roadways. This can be especially true on rural roadways or areas where it is harder to spot passersby at night. No matter what time of day it is, however, drivers are responsible for remaining alert, vigilant, and to make sound judgment calls when it comes to the decision to drive in bad weather. Anytime you commute by foot, be aware that if a driver’s visibility is poor, you are at greater risk of injury.
Distraction – It is no secret in today’s technology-driven world that distracted driving is one of the greatest dangers on the highway for motorists and pedestrians alike. As a pedestrian, it is important to keep in mind that drivers may not always see you. They may be impaired, texting, talking on the phone, or caught up in a conversation with another passenger in the vehicle. A distracted driver of any kind is a major threat to pedestrian traffic.
Pedestrian location – The NHTSA shows that certain locations are also a greater risk for pedestrian accidents and injuries, including crosswalks, school zones, urban areas, and neighborhoods with sidewalks. For example, drivers often try to pass other cars at crosswalks, placing everyone in harm’s way. Take extra precautions whenever walking in these areas, as you are more likely to encounter dangerous driving behaviors in these zones.
Speed – Not surprisingly, speed plays another major role in the risks associated with pedestrian traffic. The NHTSA advises drivers to slow down in pedestrian-heavy areas. In fact, speed is one of the most important factors in the likelihood of a pedestrian surviving an injury from a car accident. The lower the speed, the higher the chances of a pedestrian’s survival after the crash.
Contact a Palatine Personal Injury Lawyer
When it comes to protecting yourself as a pedestrian on the roadways, proactive walking can go a long way in staying safe, but you cannot control a driver’s decisions behind the wheel. Accidents happen, and when they do, it is important to reach out to a competent Arlington Heights pedestrian accident attorney, who can effectively fight for your rights to compensation. If you have been injured due to someone’s negligence, call Newland & Newland LLP today at 847-797-8000 and request your free consultation.