The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that there were 4,743 pedestrians killed in traffic accidents in 2012, equaling more than 12 people each day. Another 76,000 pedestrians were injured in that year as well, and these are only those accidents/injuries that are reported to police.
The magnitude and implications of these statistics give rise to many questions. Why are there so many pedestrian deaths and how are they occurring? In an attempt to increase the safety of everyone on the roadways, government officials and the public alike must be aware of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents to address the problem.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Below are the six most common causes of pedestrian accidents. And while accidents with motor vehicles may be the most fatal, traffic accidents were not the top cause of pedestrian accidents.
- Falls because of damaged sidewalks: 24 percent of all reported pedestrian accidents are attributed to cracks or uneven surfaces on the sidewalks where people walk. In such cases, government agencies responsible for the maintenance of public facilities could be liable for these accidents.
- Falls: 17 percent of pedestrian accidents occur because the person walking tripped over something and fell, or fell for another unidentified reason. Again, there could be a premises liability claim associated with such falls if property was improperly maintained or obstacles were carelessly placed in a walkway by a property owner.
- Hit by car: 12 percent of pedestrian accidents were the result of a pedestrian being struck by a motor vehicle. In traffic accidents involving cars striking the pedestrian, the driver may be at fault.
- Animals: Six percent of all pedestrian accidents involved wildlife or pets.
- Fell over rocks or stones: Five percent of accidents involving pedestrians are the result of someone tripping over a naturally occurring obstacle such as a rock or stone.
- Stepped in a hole: Five percent of pedestrians involved in accidents stepped in a hole near the roadway and tripped or fell, causing the accident.
If You're Injured in a Pedestrian Accident, Call Max Meyers
Max Meyers understands the complexity of pedestrian accidents and is knowledgeable about all laws affecting such cases. He is dedicated to helping injured persons obtain the compensation that will allow them to avoid financial ruin after an accident when medical bills and lost wages create financial burdens. Call us today at 425-399-7000 to set up a consultation to discuss your case with an attorney.