What Are the Most Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in Texas?
Texas has, unfortunately, earned a reputation for having a high number of pedestrian accidents. In fact, the state has one of the highest rates of pedestrian fatalities, with over 600 pedestrian deaths in 2021 alone.
Such accidents can have devastating consequences, causing serious injury or even death. Understanding the most common causes of pedestrian accidents in Texas can help individuals be more aware and proactive when traveling on foot. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also answer questions like, "Whose fault is it if a self driving car hits a pedestrian?"
The Most Common Causes of Pedestrian Traffic Accidents
According to different pedestrian accident statistics, the majority of fatal pedestrian accidents occur in large urban cities such as Houston, Dallas, and Austin. Additionally, they often happen at night and involve older people or children.
Any person who has been injured or lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident knows the devastating emotional and financial impact it can have on the victim and their family. That's why it's important to understand the causes of pedestrian accidents so that preventive measures can be taken.
Most pedestrian accidents involve motor vehicles, with traffic crashes being the leading cause of death.
Unfortunately, many of these accidents are caused by negligent motor vehicle drivers who do not follow traffic laws or who fail to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians. Drivers who are distracted, intoxicated, or simply not paying attention are responsible for a significant number of pedestrian accidents in Texas.
Malfunctioning Traffic Signs
Pedestrian accidents can also happen at intersections, particularly when traffic signals are malfunctioning.
Sometimes, a pedestrian may begin to walk on the designated crosswalk when they have the right of way, only to be struck by a motor vehicle that fails to stop.
In other cases, a driver may turn corners without checking for nearby pedestrians, causing a serious injury or even a fatal pedestrian accident.
While drivers are often blamed for causing motor vehicle crashes, pedestrians can also contribute to accidents by disregarding traffic signs or failing to use crosswalks.
People using their phones or that are otherwise distracted may ignore nearby traffic, putting themselves at risk of injury.
To reduce pedestrian crashes in Texas, it is important for both automobilists and pedestrians to be aware of their surroundings and to follow traffic laws. Drivers should be especially cautious when approaching a designated crosswalk or turning at an intersection, making sure to yield to pedestrians with the right-of-way.
On the other hand, pedestrians should always use sidewalks, obey traffic signals, and never assume that a motorist will see them and stop.
Finding Fault in a Pedestrian Accident
One of the first steps in determining liability in a pedestrian accident is to show that the driver was negligent.
Evidence has to show that the negligent driver failed to exercise reasonable care and expect pedestrians around the bend, which harmed the plaintiff. Such behavior includes distracted driving, failing to yield to pedestrians in designated interchanges, and disregarding traffic signs.
To prove negligence, the plaintiff must present substantial proof that the driver breached their duty of care and that this violation caused injuries.
In some cases, the distracted pedestrian may also be partially at fault for the accident. This is comparative negligence, meaning the plaintiff's actions contributed to the traffic fatalities. In a modified fault state like Texas, the victim can still recover damages if they are less than 51% at fault.
The Most Common Pedestrian Injuries
Pedestrian accident cases can lead to some of the most devastating injuries imaginable, and unfortunately, they are all too common. Such crashes can result in extensive medical bills, lost wages, and other issues that can create long-lasting challenges for victims.
While the causes of pedestrian accidents vary, studies have shown that motor vehicle drivers are often to blame, either by failing to follow traffic laws or by simply failing to notice pedestrians in the vicinity.
Carelessness, inattentiveness, and distraction can lead to driver error and injuries. Negligent drivers, specifically those who drive under the influence, suffer from visual, auditory, and cognitive impairments.
Distracted pedestrians continually avoid designated crosswalks, assuming that motorists will give them the right-of-way in all scenarios, increasing the likelihood of getting hit by a vehicle.
Some of the most common injuries sustained in such accidents include the following:
Brain and spinal injuries
Lacerations and bruises
Loss of limbs
Victims should never brush off these accidents as minor incidents, as sustained injuries can cause long-term harm.
Here's How Many Pedestrian Accidents Happen in Texas
Texas has a reputation for having high traffic fatalities. In 2020 alone, the state accounted for 687 deaths due to such accidents. This is just a fraction of the staggering 5,977 deaths across the United States in 2017. Shockingly, Austin accounted for 42% of traffic fatalities in 2018.
While many factors contribute to such crashes, it is essential to understand that most result from motor vehicle drivers failing to abide by traffic rules. In order to reduce pedestrian accidents, automobilists need to be more aware and observant on the road (especially in urban cities).
Pedestrians, too, have a role to play. Instead of jaywalking or using cell phones while crossing the streets, pedestrians should wait for the signal and walk only when it is safe. On the other hand, for those walking on unmarked crosswalks, it is best to face oncoming traffic instead of looking in the opposite direction. Contact Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys for questions like, "Do pedestrians always have the right of way in Texas?"
Seeking Financial Compensation from the At-fault Driver
If a pedestrian is injured in an accident due to the negligence of a motorist, they may be entitled to financial compensation. Such crashes can be complex, and it is advisable to seek help from a personal injury lawyer with experience handling such cases.
Qualified pedestrian accident lawyers can help victims seek financial compensation from the at-fault driver to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and more. Legal professionals can help injured people gather evidence, represent their cases in court, and negotiate with insurance companies.
It is important for motorists to be aware of pedestrians and follow the road rules. Drivers should always yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and expect them to be present, especially near intersections.
The consequences of a pedestrian crash can be severe, and the burden of recovery should not fall solely on the injured individual or their family. An experienced attorney can help plaintiffs navigate the complexities of such accident cases and advocate for their rights as victims.
Stating "We Go to War for You" on its front page, Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can hold negligent drivers accountable in court and bring justice to those who deserve compensation.