Pedestrian accidents have some of the highest fatality rates of any type of collision. This is because people have no protection against the huge weight and speed of a car. As a driver on the road, you have a responsibility to pay attention to your surroundings. You should always be on the lookout for pedestrians crossing the street, even where it’s not legal for them to do so. Many pedestrian accidents happen when drivers get distracted on the road. They can also happen when drivers run lights or fail to stop completely at intersections. Left-hand turns are a big culprit for pedestrian accidents as well. And finally, accidents can also happen when cars are reversing in parking lots or driveways. Part of being a good defensive driver
involves always being on the lookout for pedestrians.
Most Common Pedestrian Accidents and How to Avoid Them: Be Aware
Distracted driving is one of the main causes of any sort of vehicle collisions, but especially pedestrian accidents. Drivers who are paying attention to their phones instead of the road can miss a person walking into the street. Eating and drinking while driving, or doing anything that can take your mind off the task of driving safely can put pedestrians more at risk. Drivers should always be on the lookout for pedestrians darting into the road if they are on a busy walking traffic street or a residential neighborhood. It only takes a second for a young child to chase after a ball and into the street. A driver who is distracted may not see them until it’s too late.
Failing to Stop or Yield
Another common source for pedestrian accidents is drivers failing to stop or yield. This can happen at intersections where drivers roll through a stop sign. In addition, it can also happen when drivers run red lights. Pedestrians might have the right of way at that point and not be expecting a car to still come through the intersection. Cars turning right on a red light must pay extra attention to any pedestrians on the corner as well as looking out for oncoming traffic.
Left Hand Turns
Left-hand turns are a major source of pedestrian accidents. When cars are trying to turn left across traffic, they’re often much more focused on looking for breaks in the traffic to cut across and may not see pedestrians approaching them from the sidewalk. These accidents can be especially dangerous because cars usually take off quickly in order to make it into the gap in the traffic, so they’re traveling at a high rate of speed. In addition, cars turning left at intersections need to always yield to pedestrians as they usually have the right of way in that situation.
One final source of pedestrian accidents is when cars are reversing. Often drivers are lazy and either don’t turn around at all when reversing or don’t turn around fully. A driver should check all blind spots before reversing and should always do so slowly. Using the backup camera or mirrors is not adequate. There are many blind spots
that a pedestrian could be walking in. Especially young children who are shorter than adults are often missed by backup cameras. One tragic source of accidents is unfortunately cars hitting children in their own driveway while reversing out. Always pay close attention when reversing. Turn your body fully around so you have a clear field of vision. If you know children are around, make sure that you know where they are before beginning your reverse.
Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents can be very dangerous. It’s important for drivers to follow all rules of the road and speed limits. When driving in bad weather, drivers need to be extra careful as their stopping time might take longer on rain or ice. Drivers should always pay close attention while driving and try not to let phones become a distraction. Drivers always need to come to a complete stop in intersections, and never run red lights. In addition, cars should take extra precaution when turning left, either at intersections or across traffic. And finally, when reversing, make sure that you have a clear field of vision so that you don’t miss a pedestrian in your blind spot. Hopefully, knowing when to be especially careful will help you be a safer driver on the road, and keep pedestrians safer around you.