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March 12, 2012

Driver Error: A Leading Cause of Pedestrian Accidents

In a collision between a passenger vehicle and a pedestrian, the definite loser is the latter. Depending on the impact of the collision, the pedestrian can suffer debilitating or even fatal injuries.
Despite various safety improvements done for the benefit of pedestrians and motorists, vehicle-pedestrian accidents are still rampant. In fact, in 2009, 4,092 pedestrians were killed in the United States, accounting to 12 percent of the total number of fatalities.

While drivers are free to move about on highways and thoroughfares, they are still expected to exercise extreme caution when driving in crowded areas and school zones to avoid hurting pedestrians.

Here are some of the common driver errors that can cause a collision with a pedestrian:

·         Ignoring the crosswalk. Many drivers fail to look out for pedestrians crossing the zebra stripes, whether at intersections or at other points of the road. To prevent an accident, drivers must make sure that no pedestrians are near the crosswalk before passing through it.

·         Ignoring traffic light and pedestrian light signals. The chances of an accident increase significantly when drivers tend to pass on a crosswalk without looking at any traffic control device, specifically those that relate to pedestrian traffic.

·         Ignoring a crossing pedestrian. Many vehicle-pedestrian collisions happen because drivers overlook the person/s crossing the roadway. In this regard, drivers are duty-bound to slow down to a full halt and let pedestrians pass before proceeding again.

·         Drunk driving. Alcohol can impair the ability to drive. Aside from the fact that intoxication can cause serious injuries to the driver and to other motorists, it can also put pedestrians at risk. There are cases of such accidents where drunk drivers strike pedestrians who are either walking on a crosswalk or on the sidewalk.

·         Passing a school bus. In 2009, one-fifth of all children between the ages of 5 and 9 were pedestrian fatalities. Children disembarking from the school bus are usually victims of such accidents wherein drivers fail to notice the red, flashing overhead lights on a school bus.

Given all these driver errors, pedestrian accidents are generally caused by the drivers’ negligence. Victims of such accidents can seek litigation through the expertise of a personal injury lawyer Los Angeles.