Pedestrian/car accidents can have devastating impacts because pedestrians lack the protection of a vehicle. When a car collides with a pedestrian, serious injuries or death often occur. Many pedestrian accidents can be avoided if both drivers and pedestrians follow a few simple safety rules.
According to the Virginia Highway Safety Office, there were 116,386 traffic crashes reported throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia in 2010, and 1,571 crashes involving pedestrians. A total of 1,585 pedestrians were injured and 76 were killed in pedestrian/motor vehicle crashes. That figure accounts for 10.3% of all traffic fatalities in the state of Virginia in 2010.
Various circumstances led to these pedestrian accidents: the driver was impaired by alcohol in 98 cases; the driver was making a left hand turn in 225 cases; the driver was backing up in 88 cases; and the driver ran off the road in 52 cases. The pedestrian was crossing at an intersection on a “do not walk” signal in 84 cases; the pedestrian was crossing at an intersection without a signal in 215 cases; and the pedestrian was playing or standing in the roadway in 133 cases. Other factors that contributed to pedestrian accidents in 2010 Virginia traffic crashes can be found here: http://www.dmv.state.va.us/webdoc/safety/crash_data/crash_facts/index.asp
Drivers should be on the lookout for pedestrians at all times. Scan the road and the sides of the road up ahead for pedestrians, particularly in crowded urban areas. Before making a turn, come to a complete stop and look in all directions for pedestrians who may be crossing the road. Always yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, whether the crossing is marked or unmarked. Follow the rules of the road and avoid aggressive driving behavior. Obey speed limits and come to a complete stop at all stop signs and stop lights. Never try to pass a vehicle that is stopped for pedestrians. Use extra caution when driving near school bus stops or close to children playing. Look carefully behind your vehicle for approaching pedestrians before backing-up.
Always be prepared to stop for pedestrians, as people sometimes walk or stand in unpredictable places. Pedestrians do not always follow all safety rules, so drivers need to be extra cautious.
If you or a member of your family has been a victim of a pedestrian accident, it is important to contact an experienced attorney right away. It is not always easy to determine who is at fault and negligent in a pedestrian accident case. An experienced pedestrian accident lawyer will be familiar with local ordinances, state statutes and case law that may help prove your case.