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Most Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 6,515 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in 2020 alone. Drivers need to be aware of the dangers pedestrians face daily and do their part to help prevent these accidents.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is a leading cause of any accident, not just pedestrian accidents. But, due to a pedestrian's limited protection, collisions with a distracted driver can frequently be fatal. In addition, pedestrians put themselves at risk when they are distracted by their own phones. Pedestrians who are not paying attention to their surroundings are more likely to walk into traffic or fail to notice a car coming. As a result, both drivers and pedestrians need to stay focused on the road.

Left Turns

In many cases, these accidents can be traced back to one simple error: turning left at an intersection without yielding to oncoming pedestrians. Left turns are particularly dangerous because drivers must take their eyes off the road and scan for oncoming traffic. This increases the likelihood that a driver will misjudge the speed of an oncoming pedestrian and cause a collision. To help prevent pedestrian accidents, it is essential for drivers to always yield to pedestrians when making a left turn.

Rolling Stops

A rolling stop is when a driver slows down but does not come to a complete stop at a stop sign or red light. While this may not seem a big deal, it can be quite dangerous, especially for pedestrians. When a driver rolls through a stop, they may not see pedestrians who are crossing the street or about to cross. Even if the pedestrian is paying attention and sees the car, the driver may not see them. This can lead to a serious accident. If you are driving, make sure to come to a complete stop at all stop signs and red lights, even if there are not any other cars around.

Defective Traffic Lights

When a traffic light is not working correctly, it can confuse drivers and pedestrians, leading to potential accidents. For example, if a traffic light is flashing red or out entirely, drivers may think that they can proceed when in fact, they should treat it as a four-way stop. This can lead to a collision with a pedestrian crossing the street. In addition, if a traffic light is not working correctly, it may not give pedestrians adequate time to cross the road, which can also lead to accidents.


Driving over the speed limit is not only illegal, but it is also one of the leading causes of pedestrian accidents. When drivers are speeding, they have less time to react if a pedestrian suddenly appears in front of them. Speed limits are in place for a reason, and it is always important to follow them.

Driving Under the Influence

Never get behind the wheel if you have been drinking alcohol or taking drugs. Driving under the influence impairs your ability to make sound judgments and increases your chances of being in an accident. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2019, 46 percent of pedestrian accidents involved an alcohol-impaired driver. If you are going to drink, use a ride-sharing service or designated driver instead.

Pedestrian Negligence

While many factors can contribute to these accidents, pedestrian negligence can also be a common cause. When pedestrians fail to follow the rules of the road, they put themselves at risk of being hit by a car. One of the most common examples of pedestrian negligence is jaywalking.

If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident and are in need of compensation, call us today at (727) 202-5499 or fill out our form online!