Where do pedestrian crashes usually occur?

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When a pedestrian is hit by a car, the pedestrian can be seriously injured or killed by the impact. Although catastrophic incidents like this are usually unpredictable, there are some pedestrian crash trends that can be used to help promote awareness for risky situations and potentially help prevent some future crashes from occurring. When examining pedestrian crash trends, people usually want to know where this type of crash usually occurs.

Pedestrian crashes often occur in urban areas

Pedestrians are usually struck by vehicles in urban areas because there are often more pedestrians in urban areas than in suburban or rural areas. In 2016, 76% of pedestrian deaths occurred on major roads, and the most common pedestrian crash scenario involved a pedestrian crossing the street in front of a passenger vehicle that is traveling straight.

Alcohol is often a contributing factor

It may not be surprising for you to learn that alcohol is a major factor in pedestrian deaths. However, it may surprise you to learn that pedestrian crashes are more likely to involve a drunk pedestrian than a drunk driver. In 2016, 34% of pedestrians ages 16 and over who were killed in a crash had blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least .08%. That year, 13% of pedestrian deaths involved drivers with BACs of at least .08%.

While it is common knowledge that drinking alcohol negatively impacts your abilities to drive safely, many people do not realize that it also impairs you abilities to walk safely. A pedestrian who is stumbling or using poor judgement can be unpredictable to drivers, who may not be able to react in time to avoid a collision. To make things worse, many alcohol-related crashes occur at night when there may naturally be poor visibility.

How you can protect yourself when walking

Some of the easiest ways to protect yourself when walking involves walking on sidewalks and crossing at crosswalks when they are available. These are places where drivers expect to see pedestrians, so they are more likely to drive with that in mind. Drivers should yield the right of way to people crossing the street at crosswalks, but you may need to yield to vehicles if you cross somewhere other than a marked crossing.

Other safe pedestrian behaviors include:

  • Looking left, right and left again before crossing the street
  • Not assuming a driver sees you unless he or she makes eye contact with you
  • Walking on the left side if the road if there is no sidewalk
  • Being aware of traffic as you step from behind parked cars
  • Never darting out into the street
  • Not consuming alcohol when walking

Using sidewalks can help provide separation between you and drivers using the roadways. It also helps keep your actions predictable to drivers.

Because pedestrian crashes can be so catastrophic, it is important to practice safe behaviors when walking. However, if you are hit by a car when walking, it may be appropriate to seek legal action. You may be able to receive compensation for medical expenses and other costs associated with your injury.

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