What Are Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
& Where Do They Commonly Occur?
In 2018, 6,283 pedestrians were killed in accidents involving an automobile. On average one pedestrian was killed in the United States every 84 minutes. More than four out of every five pedestrian accidents occurred in urban areas compared to 1 in 5 in rural areas.
So what are common variables and locations of pedestrian accidents?
Where Do Pedestrian Accidents Commonly Occur?
Urban areas account for the largest amount of pedestrian accidents. Pedestrian accidents tend to occur in urban and large population centers. In 2018, 81% of fatal pedestrian accidents occurred in urban areas.
The five cities with the largest amounts of fatal pedestrian accidents include:
- Los Angeles, CA (273)
- Phoenix, AZ (245)
- Houston, TX (204)
- Dallas, TX (198)
- New York, NY (195)
The cities outlined above, also all check in on the ten most populous cities. A higher population unsurprisingly is linked to higher amounts of auto accidents and fatal pedestrian accidents.
What Are Common Causes of Fatal Pedestrian Accidents?
Alcohol is a common factor in several types of accidents. The effects of alcohol slow reaction time and decision making skills. During the latest reporting year from the NHTSA, 48% of all fatal pedestrian accidents involved alcohol.
It is important to consider the danger of alcohol when operating a motor vehicle and traveling on foot. Alcohol can reduce a legally impaired individual’s reaction time,.08 BAC, by as much as 1.2 seconds. An estimated 33% of the pedestrians involved in fatal accidents struck by motor vehicles had a .08 BAC or higher.
While the dangers of driving under the influence are widely known, understood and enforced - pedestrians with alcohol in their systems also experience delayed reaction times. Pedestrians that are legally drunk - .08% BAC or higher - can also pose risks to their own personal safety along with drivers on the road.
Distracted Drivers & Pedestrians
The amount of distractions when driving a vehicle has accelerated since the turn of the century. With smartphones, smart cars and constant notifications to phones, drivers can become easily distracted. Compounded on other areas of distracted driving including eating and drinking, distractions in backseats, putting on makeup or getting distracted by a car’s interface.
Driving is one of the most dangerous activities individuals engage in on a daily basis. When distracted driving behavior is involved, the odds of being involved in an auto accident greatly increases.
The National Institute of Health has found that when drivers engage in eating, reaching for a phone, texting, or taking their eyes off the road about 10% of the time while driving. Experienced adult drivers were found to be more than twice as likely when dialing a number via a cell phone. However, the act of talking on a phone did not produce an increase in accident propensity.
Impatient & Reckless Drivers
Impatient and reckless drivers increase the potential for pedestrian accidents.
Time of Day & Weather
The time of day and weather conditions can contribute to fatal pedestrian accidents. In 2018, dark and dusk conditions accounted for 78% of all fatal pedestrian accidents. Weather conditions that impede the visibility also makes it more dangerous for pedestrians.
How Can I Stay Safe Walking?
To help avoid being injured in an auto accident while on foot, be aware of your surroundings and dress in bright colors. Remember to walk on sidewalks and use crosswalks and pedestrian cross signals. Below are some helpful tips
- Do not wear dark clothes at night when walking
- Do not walk while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Do not walk with headphones and/or looking at phone while walking
- Do not walk in bike lanes or on roads
- Avoid jaywalking
By implementing safety techniques, wearing visible bright clothes and limiting alcohol, an individual can limit the dangers associated with pedestrian accidents.