When you’re on foot, you are susceptible to the dangerous driving practices of the motorists with whom you come in contact. Driver negligence can come in many dangerous varieties that all leave you at an increased risk of being seriously injured.
There’s something enjoyable about heading out on foot, enjoying the fresh air, and making the most of your day. As a pedestrian, however, you’re exceptionally vulnerable to life-threatening pedestrian accidents, and driver negligence is often at the root of these dangerous accidents. If you or your loved one has been injured by someone else’s negligence in a pedestrian accident, don’t wait to seek the help you need from an experienced Columbus pedestrian accident attorney.
Pedestrians do not have a metal covering or shell surrounding them at the time an accident occurs. Consequently, if they are struck by a motor vehicle at an intersection crosswalk – or in a parking lot or garage – they can suffer serious and debilitating injuries. This is especially true if the force of the collision causes the pedestrian to strike the ground.
In a pedestrian accident, the accident victim could suffer a serious bone fracture, traumatic head injury, soft tissue injury (such as a muscle sprain or strain), or internal injuries. In many cases, when a pedestrian accident victim falls on his or her neck/back, the pedestrian could suffer spinal cord damage that leads to full or partial paralysis.
All of these injuries can lead to a significant amount of medical treatment and mounting medical bills. You might also need to miss days or even weeks of work in order for you to fully recover from your injuries.
Pedestrian Accidents Happen
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shares all the following significant statistics related to pedestrian accidents in the United States:
- There were nearly 6,000 pedestrian fatalities in 2017 alone, which translates to about one every 88 minutes.
- Approximately 137,000 pedestrians sustained nonfatal injuries that were treated in emergency rooms in 2017.
- Per trip taken, pedestrians are one and a half times more likely than the occupants of vehicles on the road to be killed in traffic accidents.
When you are walking, always make your personal safety a primary focus.
The Most Common Forms of Driver Negligence
As mentioned, pedestrian accidents are often precipitated by driver negligence in one or more of its many forms, including the following:
- Distraction – When a motorist is distracted by anything other than driving safely, he or she puts everyone on the road at greater risk, and pedestrians are the most vulnerable. When you’re on foot, you are more difficult to see in the first place, and when you mix in driver distraction, it can be a recipe for disaster. Driver distraction is generally classified into physical distractions that occupy one’s hands, cognitive distractions that occupy one’s thoughts, and visual distractions that occupy one’s eyesight, and texting – the distraction to beat all distractions – manages to meld all of these into one life-threatening practice.
- Impairment – Impairment plays an outsized role in pedestrian accidents. Motorists who are impaired by alcohol and/or drugs experience cognitive, physical, and visual impairments that increase the risk for pedestrians dramatically.
- Excessive Speed – Motorists who speed excessively decrease their control over their vehicles and increase their stopping distances (both of which can be deadly for pedestrians).
- Exhaustion – Drowsy drivers can experience some of the same driving deficiencies that impaired drivers do, which does not bode well for pedestrians.