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Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

causes of pedestrian accidentsThe Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that more than 350 pedestrians require emergency medical care every day after being struck by a car, and that an average of 16 pedestrians are killed daily across the United States. The causes of these very serious accidents are varied:

  • Turns into crosswalks—the most frequent situation leading to a motor vehicle-pedestrian collision involves a driver turning either left or right into the crosswalk, hitting a pedestrian who has the right of way. Drivers can be easily distracted by other motorists or may fail to take poor weather conditions into account.
  • Turns at corners with unmarked crosswalks—Often, if there’s no visibly marked crosswalk, a driver will turn right or left, even though pedestrians are crossing at the corner.
  • Impaired drivers—According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, half of all fatal pedestrian accidents in 2013 involved alcohol impairment, either by the driver or by the pedestrian.
  • Environmental conditions—Pedestrian accidents frequently occur because of environmental circumstances. The weather conditions may make it difficult to see the pedestrian or to stop in a timely manner. There may be insufficient lighting or the pedestrian may be wearing dark clothes. The roadway may have defects, including missing stop sign, malfunctioning lights or roadway debris.
  • Violation of traffic laws—Motorists who are speeding, who roll through a stop sign, or who fail to obey traffic laws or signs often cause pedestrian accidents.

It’s important to understand that, in New Jersey, a pedestrian must yield to the right of way of a motor vehicle at a marked or unmarked crosswalk. If a pedestrian is halfway through a crosswalk, a motorist must yield the right of way. A pedestrian may not enter a crosswalk in front of a car if it would be impossible for the vehicle to stop or yield. Furthermore, if there are sidewalks along a roadway, a pedestrian may not be in a bicycle lane, on the shoulder or on the roadway.

Contact Attorney Howard N. Sobel

At the office of Howard N. Sobel, we provide comprehensive personal injury counsel to individuals throughout the state of New Jersey. Contact our office online or call us at 856-424-6400. Evening and weekend appointments can be arranged upon request. We accept all major credit cards.