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Common causes of pedestrian accidents

Getting out and about on foot is a great way to burn calories and minimize your impact on the environment, but doing so also has its dangers. The Traffic Safety Store reports that more than 4,000 pedestrians die and about 70,000 suffer injuries each year because of accidents involving motor vehicles.

With the summer season now in full swing, you and others are more likely than ever to take to the streets and sidewalks on foot, so it is important to understand the common causes of pedestrian accidents so that you can do your part to avoid them. Common causes of today’s pedestrian accidents include:


Drunk drivers are a factor in about 13 percent of all accidents involving pedestrians, and as you might assume, such incidents are more common after dark and on weekends. While there is not much you can do if a motorist drinks and drives, it is wise that you, too, stay sober when walking the streets, as pedestrians themselves are legally drunk in nearly 40 percent of pedestrian-related fatalities.

Cars making left-hand turns

Your odds of getting hit by a car making a left turn is three times higher than it is for a car turning right. While you, as a pedestrian, are likely looking ahead while crossing the street, a car making a left turn is concentrating on other vehicles and navigating the intersection, and the results can prove deadly.

Increasingly crowded roadways

If you live in a particularly populated area or an area that has experienced considerable population growth in recent years, you may face a higher risk of becoming a victim in a pedestrian-automobile accident. Multi-lane, high-speed roads are becoming increasingly necessary to keep cars and people moving, but many of these high-speed-limit roadways are in areas where pedestrian traffic is also common.

As a pedestrian, you can improve your chances of avoiding an accident by staying sober, vigilant and attentive. Use well-marked crossing areas wherever possible, and do not assume that other motorists are going to spot and avoid you.

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Magnuson Lowell PS

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