How Common Are Pedestrian Accidents?


While we all know that vehicle accidents cause tens of thousands of injuries and fatalities each year in the U.S. alone, many pedestrian accidents also happen each year, and they are more common than you probably think. 

Exactly how common are pedestrian accidents? Let’s find out.

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Pedestrian Accident Statistics

According to the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 7,000 pedestrians died in crashes with motor vehicles in the U.S. in 2020. 

That means approximately one pedestrian dies every seventy-five minutes in a road accident. To put it another way, one in six people who died in vehicle crashes in the U.S. in 2020 were pedestrians. 

There were also around 104,000 emergency room visits for pedestrians who were injured in vehicle crashes in the same year.

Common Reasons for Pedestrian Accidents

When pedestrian accidents are the fault of the pedestrian, they are almost always due to failing to check the crosswalk or road before crossing. But the vast majority of pedestrian accidents are caused by drivers of motor vehicles. 

That means that even pedestrians who only cross roads when they are meant to can still be involved in accidents. Many pedestrian accidents happen because the divers are distracted. 

People driving under the influence of alcohol is also a common cause of pedestrian accidents. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the U.S. in 2019, 46% of crashes sadly resulted in the deaths of pedestrians, out of which, around 13% involved drivers who were over the alcohol limit with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 grams per deciliter or more. 

Other common causes of pedestrian accidents include:

  • Speeding. 
  • Failing to yield to pedestrians’ right of way at crosswalks.
  • Disobeying traffic signs and signals.
  • Failing to signal while turning.
  • Disregarding traffic or weather conditions. 
  • Driving while under the influence of drugs.

People should never take illegal drugs anyway as they can be extremely harmful. Find out more about the dangers of drugs in this article about Santa Clarita’s Chasing the High event and this post about drug driving facts. It is also worth noting that the majority of pedestrian fatalities occur in urban areas and at night. 

If You Are Injured in a Pedestrian Accident, Contact a Lawyer

If you are injured in a pedestrian accident that is not your fault, you should contact a lawyer to explore your legal options. 

You may be able to claim compensation to cover things like medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages. Just make sure that you hire an attorney that has experience in pedestrian-motor vehicle accidents

Take Steps to Stay Safe

As long as you remember to always take the right steps to stay safe as a pedestrian, you can reduce your chances of being injured in an accident. 

First off, when walking at night or in poorly lit areas, make sure you increase your visibility by wearing reflective clothing or carrying a flashlight. 

You should also avoid wearing earphones because you will not be able to hear traffic. Listening to music or a podcast can also be distracting, as can looking at your phone, so do not use devices when you are walking alongside busy roads or crossing roads. 

And you should avoid walking if you have used alcohol or drugs because both can impair your judgment and coordination and therefore make it more difficult to stay safe. 

You should always walk on the sidewalk, too; never on the road. But if you find yourself in a situation where it is unavoidable to walk on the road, always make sure you face the oncoming traffic. 

Lastly, make sure you always use designated crosswalks whenever possible. By remembering to take the appropriate precautions, you can avoid being one of the many who are injured in pedestrian accidents every day. 

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