Pedestrian fatalities are on the rise. According to recent statistics, fatalities are at a year high. What are the most common causes of accidents between vehicles and pedestrians?
Cars that are speeding may have difficulty slowing down enough to stop for a pedestrian in their path. According to crash data, a vehicle traveling just 40 miles per hour causes an 85 percent chance of pedestrian death.
Distracted driving and walking
Distractions in the vehicle make it easy for drivers to miss an obstruction in front of them, like a person. There are many ways that a driver can distract themselves while behind the wheel. Anything from texting to changing the radio station to reaching to grab something in the backseat can take a driver’s eyes off the road.
Distractions are not only problematic for drivers, but also pedestrians. If someone walking down the street is distracted by their phone or music, they may not see an oncoming car or a DON’T WALK sign, leaving them vulnerable to an accident.
Pedestrians wearing dark clothes at night are in danger of passing cars not seeing them. Walking after dark is hazardous for pedestrians, as Governors Highway Safety Association data shows that almost 75 percent of pedestrian fatalities occur at night. Making sure to wear bright or reflective clothing when walking at night could be lifesaving.
Winter weather conditions especially, but also heavy rain and fog, can cause many fatal pedestrian accidents. Fog, heavy rain and snow can make it troublesome for drivers to see. Hydroplaning on water and slipping on snow or ice are also hazards.
Walking outside is a great way to get exercise, and many people choose to walk to local destinations. However, pedestrian-vehicle fatalities are unfortunately common. Staying aware of your surroundings and knowing the possible dangers can help you avoid an accident while on your next walk.