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The Most Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents and How to Avoid Them

Pedestrian accidents can be serious and even deadly, with pedestrians often bearing the brunt of the injury due to lack of protection compared to vehicle occupants. Data from the Governor’s Highway Safety Association shows that California logged the highest number of pedestrian fatalities in the U.S. from 2019 to 2021, averaging 1,000 deaths per year. 

In addition to the tragic cost to human life, pedestrian accidents also have a significant financial impact. The costs of medical bills, lost wages, and property damage can be astronomical.  Additionally, a pedestrian accident victim may experience pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and ongoing medical expenses due to their injuries.

Victim of an accident? Ayuda California can help you.

Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

Due to the serious nature of pedestrian accidents, it is important for both drivers and pedestrians to exercise caution whenever they are in close proximity. Knowing the most common causes of pedestrian accidents can help both drivers and pedestrians avoid them.

Distracted driving

One of the leading causes of pedestrian accidents is distracted driving. Distracted driving happens whenever someone takes their eyes off the road, whether it’s texting, using a phone call or even snacking. Inattentive drivers are at greater risk of failing to recognize pedestrians and reacting too slowly in case they’re spotted.

causes of pedestrian accidents

Intoxicated Driving

When a driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, their judgment and reaction time are impaired, making them more likely to hit somebody. To avoid accidents caused by intoxicated driving, it is important for pedestrians to be extra cautious when walking near roads or in areas with a high number of bars or clubs. It is also important for drivers to never operate a vehicle while under the influence.

Failure to yield

This can occur when a driver fails to stop at a crosswalk or stop sign, or when a driver turns into a pedestrian’s path without looking. To avoid accidents caused by failure to yield, pedestrians should use crosswalks and make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street. Drivers must also be aware of their surroundings and always follow the rules of the road.


When a driver is going too fast, they are less likely to see pedestrians and more likely to cause serious bodily injury or death if they do hit someone. To avoid pedestrian accidents caused by speeding, it is important for pedestrians to be aware of their surroundings and to stay out of areas where drivers are likely to be going fast. It is also important for drivers to obey the speed limit and to slow down in areas where pedestrians are present.

Poor lighting

When it is difficult for drivers to catch sight of pedestrians, the potential for them getting hit drastically increases. To avoid these types of accidents due to darkness or foggy conditions, both drivers and pedestrians should take precautionary measures; such as wearing reflective clothing or carrying a flashlight when walking during nighttime hours. Additionally, motorists need to make sure they use their headlights in order to increase visibility on the roadways.

Unmarked crosswalks

Unmarked crosswalks are one of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents, these can be a leading cause of pedestrian accidents, as drivers may not always recognize that pedestrians have the right-of-way in these areas. To protect yourself and others while crossing streets without marked crosswalks, both pedestrians and drivers should take caution. 

Use marked crosswalks when available, and make eye contact with any passing cars before entering the street; likewise, drivers should remain vigilant at all times and yield the way if they notice anyone attempting to walk across an unmarked area.

Pedestrian error

It is critical for pedestrians to remain vigilant and adhere to all traffic laws in order to prevent accidents caused by jaywalking, crossing outside of a crosswalk, or neglecting to look both ways before crossing. Being aware of the environment when walking close by roads can help reduce pedestrian-related collisions.

Compensation for Accident Victims

Pedestrians who have been injured in an accident may be entitled to compensation. With that being said, it is important to speak with a qualified attorney to understand your rights and to make sure you receive the financial compensation you deserve.

Victims of pedestrian accidents may be eligible for compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Insurance companies may try to deny claims or offer an inadequate settlement, so it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible.

No matter who was at fault for the accident, victims deserve to be compensated for the pain and suffering they have endured. Experienced attorneys can help ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation that you are entitled to.

Injured in a Pedestrian Accident? Ayuda California Has Your Back

Call Ayuda California as soon as possible after a pedestrian accident. Our attorneys and case specialists are all experienced in dealing with insurance companies and can help you get full and fair compensation. Our English and Spanish-speaking legal team can also provide guidance and support throughout the claims process. 

We have extensive experience in handling pedestrian accident cases and can provide you with the legal help and advice you need.

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