According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a pedestrian is killed every two hours and injured every eight minutes due to traffic accidents. These types of crashes are on the rise, and the most common causes include:
- Using unmarked crosswalks. Although drivers are legally responsible for safely operating their vehicles, pedestrians increase their risk of injury when they choose to cross the street where there is no signaled crosswalk. Even using marked crosswalks can be dangerous when drivers are making left-hand turns, as they may be occupied with watching oncoming traffic and forget to consider pedestrians.
- Becoming distracted by devices. With the widespread use of cell phones, texting while driving has become a nationwide concern. Talking on the phone, adjusting the radio and eating are other activities that can distract drivers, leading to serious accidents.
- Lack of visibility. Most vehicle-pedestrian accidents happen at night when visibility is poor. Inadequate street lighting may exacerbate the problem, as can pedestrians who are wearing dark clothing that isn’t clearly visible to drivers. If motorists are exceeding the speed limit in the dark, their ability to spot pedestrians and react in time is further compromised.
Drivers may also take special safety precautions to avoid pedestrian accidents by being aware of people walking, running, or playing on or near the road — especially younger and older persons who may not be as aware of oncoming traffic.
If you’ve been injured in a serious pedestrian accident, contact a dedicated West Virginia personal injury lawyer to explore your legal options.