What Are the Leading Causes of Pedestrian Crashes?

Posted on behalf of Jeff Pitman on February 22, 2022 in Car Accidents
Updated on April 24, 2024

leading causes pedestrian crashesThe number of pedestrian crashes are on the rise across the nation. Two years into the pandemic, and fatalities are nearly the highest in decades. Learn more about the leading causes of pedestrian crashes, including why these numbers have surged in the last two years.

At PKSD, we are committed to helping injured victims, including pedestrians, harmed by negligence.

If you or a loved one were struck by a negligent driver, we are prepared to help. Contact our firm 24/7 to schedule a free initial consultation. Learn if you may have legal options for recovering compensation.

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How Common Are Pedestrian Crashes?

Pedestrian crashes have always been a problem, especially in cities and urban areas. However, up until COVID-19 hit this country, the number of pedestrian deaths was on a decline. In fact, according to a recent New York Times article, pedestrian deaths were almost the lowest per year in decades.

What Are Some of the Top Causes for Pedestrian Crashes?

Prior to the onset of the pandemic, leading causes for pedestrian crashes included:

    • Drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs
    • Fatigued drivers
    • Distracted drivers
    • Reckless behavior
    • Drivers ignoring weather or road conditions
    • Excessive speeding
    • Impatient drivers
    • Road construction
    • Vehicles making left turns
    • Multi-lane roads

These are all still common causes of pedestrian crashes today, yet negligent drivers are not the only ones responsible. Pedestrians may also be held liable when these crashes happen. Their actions often play a major role in their own safety and the safety of others.

For instance, a driver may be unable to stop in time or avoid hitting a pedestrian who:

  • Jaywalks across a street at night without checking for traffic
  • Crosses a busy street while intoxicated, disregarding pedestrian walk signals
  • Darts out into the road from in-between cars without making sure it is safe

Why Are There More Pedestrian Crashes Since the Pandemic Hit?

To everyone’s surprise, the number of pedestrian crashes began to increase during the pandemic. Since people were home quarantining for several months, even traffic experts thought these numbers would drop. So what has caused this increase?

    • More reckless driving behaviors
    • Excessive speeding, such as drag racing
    • Increased levels of anxiety
    • Social isolation and disengagement
    • Depression
    • Anger

Along with the frustration of the ongoing pandemic, other political issues regarding mask-wearing, vaccinations and other issues have had an impact as well. More drivers are angry, and that alone can lead to dangerous and erratic driving.

Why More Pedestrian Crashes Have Been Fatal

More pedestrian crashes have been fatal, in part, due to an increase in excessive speeding and reckless driving during the pandemic. Additionally, SUVs and other vehicles have gotten larger, causing pedestrian crash victims to suffer more severe and fatal injuries.

Drivers with newer cars relying too heavily on technical assistive devices may also be a factor. These high-tech devices are useful to help warn drivers about pedestrians and other hazards. However, it is important to point out that they are not foolproof or intended to replace a driver’s duty of care.

Groups Most At Risk for Being Hit By a Car

According to a report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), minority groups are most at risk to be struck by a vehicle, including:

    • Blacks, Hispanics and Asians
    • Individuals living in disadvantaged areas
    • Elderly individuals
    • Pedestrians walking at night

Many crashes, in fact, almost 75 percent, happen at night. Pedestrians are harder to see, especially if they are wearing non-reflective clothing or walking outside of crossing areas. Pedestrians living or walking through disadvantaged neighborhoods are more at risk due to a lack of sidewalks, crosswalks and streetlights.

What is Milwaukee Doing to Improve Traffic Safety?

Milwaukee has plans to allocate $8.5 million of property taxes to help fund multiple traffic safety improvements. The funding will be distributed to 16 corridors in various districts throughout the city.

In all, these traffic safety improvements include:

    • Curb bump-outs
    • High-impact paving
    • Bus stop islands
    • Narrower travel lanes
    • More protected bike lanes
    • Additional pedestrian infrastructure
    • Lower speed limits
    • Speed bumps

Injured as a Pedestrian? We Are Here to Help

At PKSD, we have helped a lot of injured victims, including pedestrians hit by cars. While nothing can change what has happened to you or your loved one, recovering compensation can help you to move forward. Medical costs and other losses after a pedestrian crash can add extreme financial burdens to an already difficult situation.

If you or a loved one have been injured as a pedestrian, contact our law firm as soon as possible. Our car accident lawyers in Milwaukee have decades of experience and are ready to fight for maximum compensation on your behalf.

Our law firm is available to take your call anytime, night or day. Schedule your free initial consultation to learn more about your legal options. There is no obligation to file a claim or hire our firm. If we do represent you, there is nothing to pay us up front. We also collect no attorney fees unless we recover compensation for you.

PKSD. Experienced Lawyers. Proven Results. 414-333-3333

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