Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

Miami, West Palm Beach, Ft Lauderdale, Florida

Pedestrian accidents are more likely to result in serious injury than in car accidents. Pedestrian accidents account for about 12% of all motor vehicle related fatalities in this country, a rate that has declined about 1% since 1994, on the basis of a 25% overall decline in pedestrian fatalities. During the same period, however, car passenger fatalities have declined by 40%. Pedestrians clearly have not benefited from improvements in car safety to the same degree as passenger car passengers.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, you may be able to receive compensation with the help of a personal injury lawyer. To learn more about your legal rights in Miami, please call 1-800-THE FIRM or email The Cochran Firm South Florida for a free case evaluation.

The Changing Pedestrian Victim Population

The population of pedestrian accident victims, including fatalities, has significantly changed since 1994. In 1994, 18% of all nonmotorist fatalities recorded were children under age 16, while adults age 35-64 accounted for about 35% of fatalities. By 2009, child fatalities had dropped to 8% while adult fatalities rose to 49% of all nonmotorist fatalities. This changing pattern of pedestrian victims likely speaks to changes in motorist and nonmotorist behaviors.

The US Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) records contributing factors to pedestrian accidents, which we would like to believe would help us determine the causes of pedestrian accidents, but, unfortunately FARS doesn’t really help us here. It lists many contributing factors, the most common of which is crossing inappropriately, which is a factor in about 20% of all pedestrian fatalities. This supports a number of studies that claim pedestrians are responsible for 80-90% of pedestrian accidents. However, the category “no factor” is actually reported in nearly 35% of all crashes. So, while pedestrian behaviors are faulted in the majority of known causes, it is likely that motorist behaviors contribute significantly as well. This includes:

  • Distracted driving
  • Failure to yield
  • Disobeying traffic signals

In addition, the changing profile of vehicles has led to some changes in the injury profile suffered by pedestrians. With more SUVs and light trucks on the road, pedestrians are more likely to be struck higher, pushed forward, and run over by a vehicle, rather than being lifted up onto the hood of a vehicle and where they are relatively safe from subsequent injury.

Can You Receive Compensation?

If you have suffered injury or lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident, you may be able to receive compensation for your injury or loss, but only an experienced lawyer can advise you on your legal rights and options.

For a free case evaluation in the Miami area, please contact The Cochran Firm South Florida today.