Pedestrian/auto accidents are frequent among auto accident cases. Some of the most common areas for these accidents are in residential neighborhoods, parking lots, and crosswalks. These are also one of the most dangerous accidents to occur because the pedestrian will feel the full impact of force considering they are not in a vehicle to protect them from some of the impact. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated in 2016, 5,987 people were killed in traffic pedestrian/auto accidents. This averages out to every 1.5 hours a crash-related pedestrian/auto accident will occur. Unfortunately, both Dallas and Fort Worth has many of these accidents due to high traffic flow in heavily travelled areas. In downtown Fort Worth earlier this summer, a trolley bus hit two pedestrians. The trolley turned left at a green light when the vehicle hit two pedestrians while crossing at an intersection’s crosswalk late in the evening. There was another incident in Dallas two days after Christmas, December 2017, when a DART bus turning at an intersection struck, ran over, and killed a pedestrian.
Why do these accidents occur so often?
There are multiple factors that come into play when trying to understand why pedestrian/auto accidents occur and what can we do to prevent them from happening. Here are some reasons why these accidents occur:
1) Distracted driving
3) Failing to yield the right of way to pedestrians at crosswalks
4) Disobeying traffic signs or signals
5) Disregarding weather or traffic conditions
6) Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Some possible answers to the trolley accident could be that the driver was distracted and did not see the pedestrians, or the pedestrians tried to beat the “Don’t Walk” signal by rushing across the street.
In other pedestrian/auto accidents, sometimes the pedestrian is forced to walk on the side of the road because the sidewalk may be blocked off for construction. As stated before, a pedestrian may try to rush across a walkway or neglect other warning signs for crossing a road. Drivers can be just as negligent in these types of cases. Drivers can become distracted with their phones, passengers, or consume enough alcohol to impair their cognitive skills.
What can be done to prevent a pedestrian accident?
Some helpful advice for pedestrians is as follows:
1. Abide the warning signs or cross walk signs. Regardless of whether one is in a hurry to get across the street or pathway, it is not worth the risk to your safety just to save a few seconds of your time in an effort to “beat” oncoming traffic. If the individual neglects to wait until it is safe to cross, then the accident may involve an allegation of comparative negligence, which changes the value of a case in case you pursue a personal injury claim.
2. If the pedestrian walks around at night, it is best to wear clothing, shoes, or gear that has reflective materials for drivers to see.
3. As for drivers, it is imperative to get rid of most if not all distractions while driving. There are a variety of potential distractions that drivers must always be on the alert to avoid. Frequently auto drivers involved in pedestrian/auto accidents state after the accident that they did not see the pedestrian. If an injured pedestrian pursues a claim against an auto driver who hit them, one important question that will be asked is “did the driver act as a reasonable driver would under the same or similar circumstances”.
Unfortunately, following the suggested ways to avoid pedestrian accidents does not entirely prevent these accidents from happening. When they do occur, the auto driver will sometimes blame the pedestrian for the accident and the pedestrian will blame the driver. It might be a situation where both parties share blame. Texas is a comparative negligence state where a jury proportions negligence (fault) between the disputing parties. If you have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence (carelessness), it is important to contact and discuss your claim with an attorney to determine your rights under the law.
Eric Reyes is an experienced attorney in this area of practice. As a Board Certified attorney in Civil Law and Personal Injury Trial Law and with 30+ years of experience, he is well prepared to fight for your rights against the negligent driver’s liability carrier or attorney. He and his litigation team are well-equipped to handle your claim. If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, please give our office a call at (817) 332-1522.