Pedestrians walking in crosswalks face the danger of being struck by a motor vehicle. There are several common causes why these accidents occur.

Six Reasons Why Pedestrians Are Injured by Cars While in Crosswalks

In 2005, a 12-year-old boy was walking home from school when he was hit by a car while in the crosswalk at Stone Way North and North 41st Street. The boy suffered severe brain damage as a result. His mother has made it her mission to improve pedestrian safety in Seattle crosswalks ever since.

Unfortunately, pedestrian crosswalk accidents are all too common. When they do occur, the injuries suffered by the victim are often severe. The pedestrian has no external protection to absorb any of the force of the impact of the vehicle, which can cause serious harm even if the car was not traveling at a high rate of speed. While this mother’s particular goal is to install pedestrian-activated crossing lights at busy intersections, poor lighting conditions are not the only cause of pedestrian crosswalk accidents.

Six Causes of Pedestrian Crosswalk Accidents Involving Cars

What are some of the other common factors that can lead to a pedestrian crosswalk accident? The following is an overview:

  1. Road defects. The road was poorly aligned, or there were other defects in the road itself—such as irregular pavement—that impacted the driver’s ability to see you as you were walking in the crosswalk.
  2. Blocked vision. The driver was unable to see you because his car had a dirty windshield or there was extreme solar glare.
  3. Driver impairment. The driver’s reaction time was substantially impaired because he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash.
  4. Poor maintenance. The city has not maintained the crosswalk properly. As a result, it is so not clearly visible and obvious to motorists. This can be the result of factors such as malfunctioning traffic lights, overgrown foliage, poor design of the intersection, or poor lighting conditions.
  5. Visual illusions. The driver could not see all or part of the crosswalk due to the phenomenon known as “foreshortening” and “distance diminishment.” As the driver was approaching the crosswalk, the point in time where he could have seen you is greatly reduced due to these effects.
  6. Vehicle defects. The driver’s car experienced a mechanical failure of the brakes or steering so that he was unable to stop or avoid you in time.

To reduce the likelihood of a injuring a pedestrian, motorists should take care to slow their speeds, to avoid driving while distracted, and to remain alert when approaching a crosswalk. We hope that you will spread this message to your friends and loved ones in order to improve pedestrian crosswalk safety throughout the city. We encourage you to share this article on Facebook!