Pedestrian accidents are some of the most severe and devastating injuries our firm sees. In many cases, a vulnerable pedestrian suffers life-changing injuries, with fatalities being all too common.
What are the Top Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in Texas?
In recent years it has been estimated that there are nearly 6,000 pedestrians killed in the United States. That is one death every 88 minutes. Unfortunately, these numbers are also trending upward every year. While every personal injury case is unique and a collision can be caused by any number of factors, below are some of the top causes of Pedestrian accidents in Texas.
At the Genthe Law Firm the most common cause of pedestrian accidents that we see is from distracted driving, which is the act of driving while engaging in other activities which distract the driver’s attention away from the road.
Drivers must always look for pedestrians before crossing through an intersection. If a driver is not paying attention a pedestrian can be easy to miss.
A driver who is operating their vehicle at a rate too fast for the conditions is often unable to stop in time to avoid hitting a pedestrian. Drivers must take the current weather conditions into account when driving, especially when approaching an intersection.
Lighting Conditions and Poor Visibility.
A driver must take their speed into account in accordance with their visibility. Drivers do not have a lower threshold of responsibility simply because it is nighttime, or the lighting conditions are inadequate.
Pedestrians who run into traffic against a signal or at an unmarked intersection put themselves at serious risk for grave injuries. While it may be very difficult to establish liability on the driver in these types of situations it is not impossible.
Frequently the driver is distracted and had they not been distracted they may have been able to stop. Even if a pedestrian is in the wrong other factors may contribute to why the pedestrian was in the intersection, such as the pedestrian being elderly and confused, or a child who cannot appreciate the danger. The driver has a responsibility to account for these possible conditions on the roadway.
Alcohol significantly slows reaction time and increases the chances of a serious and often fatal accident. In 2019, in Dallas alone there were over 1,000 drunk driving accidents, nearly 50 of them resulting in fatalities.
How Can Pedestrians Stay Safe?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recognizes the life-altering injuries often caused by pedestrian-vehicle collisions. NHTSA offers the following tips:
- Pedestrians are also responsible in following the rules of the road, so obey signs and signals.
- Walk on sidewalks when they are available
- Runners – pay attention here: if there is no sidewalk, walk/run facing traffic and stay as far from traffic as possible.
- When possible cross streets at crosswalks or intersections where drivers are more likely to look for pedestrians.
- Never assume a driver sees you. It is good practice to make eye contact with drivers as the driver approaches the intersection.
How Can Drivers Stay Safe?
- Get off your phone while operating a vehicle.
- Look out for pedestrians everywhere, at all times.
- Use extreme caution when driving in conditions where it is difficult to see.
- Slow down and be prepared to stop when turning.
- Bring your vehicle to a stop before the crosswalk markings. Many drivers who are turning left or right at a stop light are guilty of pulling up and through the crosswalk to make their turns. This is unsafe, especially if the driver does not have a full view of the crosswalk due to other stopped vehicles.
- Follow the speed limits in school zones and construction areas.
- Be extremely cautious backing up – especially when in a parking lot. Children often times dart away from their parents unexpectedly.
Texas state law allows injured pedestrians to pursue a personal injury claim against the driver who hit them. If liability can be established then the injured pedestrian can pursue damages for medical bills in the past and future, lost wages or earning capacity, and pain and suffering.
It may be in the injured pedestrian’s best interest to consult with an experienced personal injury to learn about all of your legal rights.
Contact the Genthe Law Firm for a free case review.