What Are the Most Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents?

 The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that in the U.S., 41,000 pedestrians were injured and 4,000 killed in 2010. While some pedestrian accidents are caused by drivers who are not paying attention or driving recklessly, there are various other causes of pedestrian accidents that pedestrians need to know about. Let us look at the most common pedestrian accidents that drivers and pedestrians can face.


Distracted Pedestrians


According to the NHTSA, there are an estimated 1.2 million distracted pedestrians in the U.S. Every day, and there are an estimated 5,000 crashes involving pedestrians who are using cell phones or other electronic devices.


There have been numerous accidents where drivers have hit pedestrians who had their heads down on their cell phones or talking to someone on the phone. The most serious accidents occur when those on cell phones enter the street or cross traffic lanes without looking up and making a turn that forces them to strike another object such as a car or truck.


Pedestrians who text while crossing the street have also been seen to miss red lights. In one tragic case, a teenager was run over by a National Guardsman while texting while crossing the street.


Alcohol and Pedestrian Accidents


According to NHTSA, alcohol is a factor in about 12% of pedestrian accidents. More than 68% of pedestrian accidents involve alcohol on both sides of the accident. The majority of these accidents result in fatal outcomes for the pedestrian as well as for the driver involved.


Since alcohol reduces the brain’s processing ability, it can impair a driver’s ability to see and react quickly and function motor skills such as braking and steering. Too much alcohol is also linked to automobile accidents involving young drivers, which account for an estimated 60% of all fatal auto accidents.


Inattentive Drivers


The NHTSA states that an estimated 5% of all crashes are attributed to drivers not paying attention or being distracted by the contents of their vehicles. Some of these minor accidents can result in a vehicle bumping into a pedestrian or an object. However, there are also serious pedestrian accidents that occur when drivers fail to see pedestrians in time.


This can occur when drivers become distracted by their cell phones, change radio stations, adjust the air conditioning vents or search for something in their vehicles. It is essential to contact your lawyer immediately in these types of accidents because they are dangerous, and usually do not involve much damage to the car or truck and usually result in a pedestrian being seriously hurt or killed.


Bad Weather


Every year, the NHTSA estimates that about 20% of pedestrian accidents caused by bad weather. These accidents can result in a vehicle hitting a pedestrian or a pedestrian being hit by lightning, which is very dangerous since the majority of these fatalities occur with teenage males.


Some bad weather conditions that are linked to increased pedestrian accidents include rain, snow, and wind, as well as fog and heavy downpours. It is important for pedestrians to avoid walking on roads that have been poorly plowed or where the ice is slippery due to water being sprayed onto the road from vehicles or other sources.




Pedestrians are at considerable risk of accidents even if they are careful and cautious. However, pedestrians can minimize their risk of serious injury or death by always walking on sidewalks when available and only crossing roads when the light is green and traffic is clear. Pedestrians can also avoid using cell phones while crossing the street since this can result in accidents due to inattentiveness.


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