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What You Should Know About Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrian accidents can be a scary experience for both driver and pedestrian. Sadly, this is not an uncommon occurrence. According to the National Highway Traffic Administration, over 60,000 pedestrians were injured in traffic accidents in 2006.

What Should You Do After A Pedestrian Accident?

Safety comes first! Make sure to get any injured persons to a place of safety. Do not try to give them medical treatment beyond what is required of you in an emergency. Call 9-1-1 to ensure that the injured individual gets the medical attention they need straight from the professionals.

Next contact the police and auto insurance providers (both for the driver's and the pedestrian's). Make sure to be honest as possible to them about what happened.

As long as the pedestrian is not incapacitated, make sure to exchange your name, phone number, and insurance information with them. However, don't talk to them about much else and especially not about how the accident took place. Making statements like "I'm so sorry" could end up hurting you later on. You should also avoid saying too much to the pedestrian's friends, family, lawyer, and insurance company.

Likewise, the pedestrian should avoid talking to the driver about how the accident happened and who is at fault. Take down all necessary information and ensure that both of you have gotten any medical treatment that may be needed.

Who Is At Fault In A Pedestrian Accident?

When a driver hits a pedestrian, the important question is who is at fault for the accident. Fault is generally determined by who was negligent and failed to exercise a reasonable standard of care under the circumstances. However, both the driver and pedestrian can be negligent.

For example, if the pedestrian was crossing the street illegally whole the driver was driver past the posted speed limit than both were at fault for the accident. However, the treatment of this type of scenario may be treated differently in different states.

Here are a few of the ways a driver may be considered negligence including:

  • -Speeding

  • -Distracted driving

  • -Disobeying traffic signs or signals

  • -Failing to signal while turning

  • -Disregarding traffic or weather conditions

Driver’s also have a special duty of care to children. Sadly, children between the ages of 5 and 9 are at the greatest risk of being risk by a vehicle. Children are smaller and much less visible than an adult is. That aside, they can be unpredictable and may not have a good understanding of safety. Due to this, the law imposes a higher duty of care on drivers because the presence of a child should be a warning of your need to be extra careful. You should also practice extra care near areas like schools, residential areas, and parks that are likely to have children around.

Adult pedestrians also have a responsibility to exercise reasonable care for their own safety. Here are a few common ways that pedestrians could be considered negligent:

  • -Ignoring the “walk” signal at an intersection

  • -Entering traffic and disrupting flow

  • -Failing to use marked crosswalks

  • -Darting in front of a vehicle

How Do You Avoid A Pedestrian Accident?

The best way to avoid a pedestrian accident is to use “defensive driving”. This means making sure to be aware of everything around you including being wary of the people walking around. Pay particular attention to young children and older adults who may be less aware of you and other drivers on the road and may not pay attention to traffic signals.