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5 Mistakes Drivers Make That Lead to Pedestrian Accidents

Steve Wagner


  • The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI) Traffic Safety Division’s (TSD) Annual Traffic Safety Report is reporting around 95 pedestrian fatalities across the state in previous years. Therefore, state safety targets of 57 or fewer pedestrian fatalities for the Hoosier state are not being met.
  • Driver errors caused by inattentive, distracted, or inexperienced drivers remain major causes for the increase.
  • In most pedestrian vs. car accident cases, the driver will be found liable, even when the pedestrian may have been negligent.
  • Drivers must keep their eyes on the road and stay attentive, never distracted, and always looking ahead for both cars and pedestrians.

Driver is Likely Liable for Car vs. Pedestrian Accidents

Latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that more than 5,300 pedestrians are killed in traffic crashes in the United States each year, making this group one of the few of road users to experience an increase in annual fatalities. Often, there can be more than one factor playing into a pedestrian vs. vehicle accident but some of the more common driver errors causing pedestrian injury or fatality include:

  • Inexperienced or New Drivers: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and many other organizations find repeatedly that age 16 thru 19-year-olds are responsible for more accidents than any other age group, and that two-thirds of all serious crashes involving teenagers are caused by critical errors.
  • Illegal U-Turns:U-turns can be dangerous, especially in locations where they are not allowed. U-turns are often illegal in areas where low visibility or speed of traffic prevents the necessary observation for safe turning.
  • Failure to Follow School Zone Driving Practices: Each year, there are many pedestrian accidents during the hectic minutes before and after school, as parents fight long lines of cars in order to get their students to school on time. There also remains far too many cases of cars attempting to drive around school buses while children are disembarking. Though many school zone accidents are minor, accidents involving students leaving buses are often deadly.
  • Failure to Make A Full Stop at Intersections:The rolling stop may feel like a harmless infraction but stop signs and traffic signals exist for a reason, namely to force drivers to stop and take full account of their surroundings – including pedestrians – before moving forward.
  • Speeding, Impaired Driving, and Distracted Drivers:These are the big three of car crashes, with distracted driving making clear headway as the main cause in many car accidents. Pedestrians are even more vulnerable to drivers engaged in one or more of these activities, and their sustained injuries can be far more serious if not deadly.

The reality is that many pedestrian accidents are caused by the driver of the vehicle, leaving little room for the pedestrian to avoid the incident. Along with communities creating comprehensive safety programs to promote safe pedestrian practices, increased public service campaigns focused on safe driving, and advancements in car technology there remains a strong need to send reduction rates of pedestrian crashes, fatalities and injuries, down across Indiana.

As noted above, in most cases the driver is liable in a pedestrian-car accident because of a poor or illegal driving choice they made. In fact, even when the pedestrian has been negligent and carries some of the blame for an accident, the driver is often also partially at fault.

You Deserve Recompense for Your Injury

If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, the personal injury attorneys at Wagner Reese are here to assist you with your recovery. We can help determine fault in the accident, as well as work to help secure the compensation you deserve so you can make a full recovery. Give us a call today at (888) 204-8440 for a free consultation.


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