3 factors that contribute to many pedestrian crashes

On Behalf of | May 9, 2024 | car accidents |

Pedestrian collisions can leave people with life-altering injuries or may lead to tragic premature deaths. The human body generally cannot withstand the force of impact generated by a motor vehicle. Broken bones, brain injuries and other traumatic injuries often follow pedestrian crashes.

Those walking on public roads or on paths that cross the road need to monitor their surroundings to minimize the possibility of a pedestrian crash. However, they are still at risk because of how drivers behave. Both public policy and the choices that people make in traffic as pedestrians or motorists can directly influence the likelihood of a pedestrian collision. For example, the following factors play a major contributing role in many pedestrian wrecks.

High speed limits

Although many of the worst pedestrian crashes occur in urban areas, the risk of deadly crashes may be higher in rural areas due to higher speed limits. The faster that vehicles travel, the more likely it is for the people involved in pedestrian crashes to have severe or even fatal injuries. Choosing walking or jogging routes with lower speed limits for motor vehicles can potentially increase the safety of a pedestrian.


Distraction is a concern for drivers. Looking down at a phone could take someone’s eyes off the road for long enough to cause a crash. Drivers already have a difficult time noticing pedestrians in traffic.  When they compound their limited observational abilities with digital distraction, they could cause totally preventable crashes. Distraction among pedestrians is also a safety concern. Pedestrians embroiled in conversation or focused on their phones could step out into traffic with tragic consequences. Consistently checking for approaching vehicles is crucial for pedestrian safety, and trying to maximize visibility to drivers could also help them reduce their crash risk.

Chemical impairment

According to federal collision data, a significant portion of pedestrian crashes involved alcohol. Many of the pedestrians hit by drivers are under the influence at the time of the incident. Many pedestrian crashes occur because a driver has too much to drink. A small but noteworthy percentage of pedestrian crashes involve both a driver and a pedestrian with high levels of alcohol in their bloodstreams.

People who consistently avoid known risk factors can limit their chances of getting into pedestrian collisions. Yet, these accidents too often occur despite pedestrians’ best efforts. Pursuing a lawsuit might be necessary after a pedestrian crash, as the injuries could cost well beyond what an at-fault driver’s insurance may cover.