Depending on the severity of the impact, an accident that involves a pedestrian and a motorist can be devastating. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) findings, nearly 76,000 pedestrians are involved in auto accidents each year. Out of these, 6,000 victims lose their lives. Most of these accidents occur in busy cities like Manassas, VA.
Understanding why these accidents happen is key to preventing and reducing the number of pedestrian-related accidents on American roads. Here are some of the common causes of pedestrian accidents:
Unmarked or invisible crosswalks
Clearly marked and visible crosswalks afford pedestrians maximum visibility while crossing the street. Clear road stripping, working traffic signals and other road signs are designed to draw road users’ attention to the designated road crossing points. Obviously, an unmarked crosswalk does not have the features that alert drivers of the pedestrians’ right to cross. This could potentially increase the chances that a driver may fail to yield the right away to pedestrians.
Fog, sleet, rain and other adverse conditions impair visibility for both drivers and pedestrians alike. Besides reduced visibility, rain or snowfalls can make the road wet or slick, giving motorists less time to break when pedestrians are in their path.
Jaywalking is the practice of crossing the street at unmarked crosswalks. Crossing the street outside of the designated crosswalk increases the risk of being hit by a car, especially if the motorist does not have a clear view of the road. It is important to understand that jaywalking is illegal in Virginia, just like in most states.
Alcohol and substance abuse
Intoxication is one of the leading causes of accidents for motorists and pedestrians alike. Intoxication can greatly impact a pedestrian’s judgment, coordination and ability to keep to the designated pedestrian lane. It is important to note that a pedestrian who causes an accident because they are drunk can be held liable for the accident, especially if the accident occurred outside of the crosswalk or pedestrian lane.
A pedestrian accident can be life-altering. If you’ve been injured, find out what it takes to assert your rights.