When motorists drive their vehicles into pedestrians, the force of impact often causes severe injuries that lead to disability, disfigurement, and paralysis. Pedestrians and bicyclists do not have the benefit of protective equipment like a reinforced passenger compartment, seatbelts, and airbags, so catastrophic injuries like traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), spinal cord injuries (SCI), bone crush injuries, and damaged internal organs are common in these types of collisions. Catastrophic injuries often entail enormous financial hardships and a lifelong need for supportive care and assistance. When thousands of pounds of steel and other hard surfaces of motor vehicle collide with the human body, serious injuries are the norm.
Careless drivers who disregard traffic safety laws or divide their attention between the road and other activities cause the majority of injuries to bicyclists and pedestrians. A smaller number of accidents affecting people who were walking or cycling involve other negligent parties.The most common factors that contribute to these serious injuries include:
Distracted Driving: When drivers divert their attention near schools, parking lots, or other areas with heavy foot traffic, pedestrians have limited options for avoiding being struck. Increased ownership of smart phones and other portable electronic devices has contributed to a growing number of pedestrian accidents involving inattentive drivers.
Substance-Impaired Driving: Whether the intoxicating substance is alcohol, prescription drugs, or illicit narcotics, substance impairment constitutes a completely preventable cause of pedestrian accidents. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that drivers across the country embark on 121 million trips per year while intoxicated by alcohol, which amounts to 300,000 incidents of drunk driving per day.
Speed-Related Accidents: When drivers fail to observe the speed limit or reduce their speed to compensate for road, traffic, and weather conditions, they increase the time and distance needed to take evasive action or stop to prevent a collision.
Right of Way Accidents: When motorists fail to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks or to stop at red lights and stop signs, intersections become one of the most dangerous locations for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Sleepy Drivers: Drivers frequently operate motor vehicles despite a lack of sleep, so their driving skills and reaction time decline substantially. A poll conducted by the national sleep foundation indicated 60 percent of U.S. drivers had driven while sleep deprived and 37 percent conceded they had fallen asleep behind the wheel at some point during the prior 12 months.
Defective Cars: Automakers can be financially responsible when a car runs into a pedestrian because of a vehicle defect. For example, blind pedestrians can be endangered by electric vehicles that do not make any engine noise.
Dangerous Intersections and Roads: Government bodies responsible for the design, maintenance, or construction of a street or other roadway can be liable if they fail to take action after they knew or should have known of defects. For example, a mistimed light at an intersection could endanger a pedestrian walking in a crosswalk.
Contact Parker Waichman LLP today at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation with an experienced pedestrian personal injury attorney. We are here 24/7 to help you get the compensation your case deserves.
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