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What are the main risk factors for a serious pedestrian crash?

On Behalf of | Jun 23, 2021 | Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrian crashes happen all the time and for many different reasons. However, when you look at the big picture of pedestrian crash statistics, you start to see certain trends.  

The better you understand what you at risk as someone walking close to cars, the easier it will be for you to stay safe. What are some of the biggest contributing factors to pedestrian crashes?  

Pedestrian or driver distraction 

Someone looking down at their phone won’t notice the pedestrian waiting in the crosswalk. The same is true for a pedestrian. Looking down at a screen and shooting off a text may lead to someone stepping out into traffic without checking for vehicles first. Distraction is dangerous for drivers and pedestrians and contributes to a number of pedestrian injuries.  

Alcohol or drug use 

As with distraction, both pedestrians and drivers increase the risk of a crash occurring if they enter the flow of traffic with drugs or alcohol in their bloodstream. Impairment can lead to stumbling, unpredictable behavior and dangerous decisions.  

 The time of day 

The later it is in the day and the darker it is outside, the less likely drivers are to notice pedestrians or watch for them. More fatal pedestrian crashes occur at night than during the day. If you have to walk in the dark, wearing gear that lights up could save your life.   

The speed of traffic 

The faster the speed of the car striking a pedestrian, the greater the damage of vehicle can cause to the human body. Higher speeds also mean that drivers will have a harder time stopping when someone steps out into the road.  

Inattentional blindness 

Perhaps one of the biggest contributing factors to pedestrian crashes is how drivers don’t notice them. The human brain can only process so much information at once, and many drivers don’t actively look for pedestrians and cyclists.  

Pedestrians can reduce this issue by wearing bright-colored clothing, reflective gear and illuminated items. They can also help keep themselves safer by crossing at crosswalks and carefully following all traffic rules.   

When you understand what can cause a pedestrian crash, it’s easier for you to avoid those risks on the road and to hold drivers accountable if they injure you.