You are on your way home or going someplace important, and you opt to walk. What could go wrong? The simple answer is: a lot. Pedestrians are taken unawares in most auto-pedestrian accidents. Collisions of this nature have a significant fatality rate.
From 2017 to 2018, there was a 3.7% spike in the number of pedestrian deaths. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were about 6,283 deaths in 2018. This number does not include traffic accidents involving electric scooters and bicycles.
This article takes an in-depth look into various aspects of auto-pedestrian accidents. In the end, you’ll know what to do if struck by a car while walking or crossing the road.
Who Is a Pedestrian in a Car Accident?
It may seem odd to ask for the definition of who a pedestrian is. However, context is vital in defining a term. Generally, a pedestrian is one who is on foot, either running or walking.
An expanded definition includes anyone outside a vehicle when the crash occurred. Therefore, you are a pedestrian if you ride a bicycle, scooter, wheelchair, or just standing on the road.
Significant Causes of Auto-Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian deaths accounted for 17% of all traffic deaths in 2018, according to the NHTSA. The agency reported that a pedestrian died every 84 minutes on average as of 2018.
The number of people walking to different places as an alternative to driving compounds auto-pedestrian accidents. It is impossible not to be a pedestrian at some point, so it is crucial you know the significant causes of pedestrian collisions. They include:
- Poor visibility
- Crossing an intersection or roadway improperly
- Failure to yield right of way
- Driving or walking intoxicated by either drugs or alcohol
- Driver’s inattentiveness
- Going over the speed limit
How to Prevent Auto-Pedestrian Accidents
Taking a walk across the street, crossing roads or running does not require genius skills. Unfortunately, there are so many road users, and not all of them are careful. The following tips are useful for preventing auto-pedestrian accidents:
- Walk using designated crosswalks and sidewalks.
- Do not jaywalk.
- If you run or walk at night, do so in well-lit areas or ensure you wear reflective clothing.
- Do not drive under the influence.
- Keep your attention on the road when driving.
- Drive under the speed limit.
What Happens When You Get Hit as a Pedestrian?
Getting hit by a car is a terrifying thought. People who get involved in vehicle accidents report being traumatized even when they were not injured. Auto-pedestrian accidents are no exceptions; more so if the car was going at high speed.
When this type of collision occurs, it happens in three stages:
- The Initial Impact: This is the first point where the vehicle makes contact with the pedestrian’s body. The car bumper hits the knees or the leg. The thigh connects with the hood, causing the body to fold to the front of the car, and it gets thrown forward.
- The Trajectory: The movement of the body relative to the position of a vehicle. At this point, the contact sends the pedestrian’s body forward. Then, the head connects with the hood or windshield, throwing the person down.
- The Ground Impact: This is the point where the pedestrian hits the ground.
The height of the car and that of the pedestrian determines the point of contact. If the auto-pedestrian accident involves buses or larger vehicles, the victim might get rolled over.
What Should I Do as a Pedestrian Hit by a Car?
Depending on whether you sustain an injury and the severity, you may need to see a doctor immediately. Even if you do not get any physical injuries, chances are you will be emotionally and psychologically affected.
Auto-pedestrian accidents can be traumatic. If you get involved in one, do the following:
- Seek medical attention immediately
- If you are not unconscious, get the contact details of the driver
- Take inventory of your injuries
- Talk to the police
- Get in touch with your insurance company
- Seek legal assistance
It Would Be Best if You Had a Personal Injury Lawyer
When hit by a vehicle, a pedestrian will most likely sustain more injuries than occupants of the car. The severity of your wound will determine if you will make a full recovery or be impaired permanently. It would also define your compensation amount.
Therefore, you must contact a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury lawyer. At Calvin Smith Law, our attorneys will guide you on how or if your loved one can get compensated. Contact us today for a free case review.