You enjoyed a fun night out at the casino. You spent plenty of effervescent time at the bar and even won an unexpected amount of cash at the slot machines. Now, you've decided to walk home, not thinking much of the decision.
As you're trying to cross at the local crosswalk, a driver fails to stop. Your once-enjoyable night out has now turned into the scene from a horror movie. You and your friends have been hit.
Are pedestrian accidents common?
This is not an uncommon scene in the United States. In 2015, 5,376 people were killed as pedestrians involved in traffic accidents. While it's more likely for children or the elderly to be struck, anyone can be involved in a pedestrian accident.
Drivers and pedestrians who are alcohol-impaired are more likely to get into accidents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that around 48 percent of crashes that caused pedestrian deaths were caused by or involved alcohol that either the pedestrian or driver had been drinking before the incident.
Higher vehicle speeds also increase the likelihood of a collision. For instance, if you were crossing at a crosswalk where the speed limit was 25 mph, no driver should have been breaking that limit when you were struck. If you were hit at 40 mph, then the driver was speeding and breaking the law at the time of the accident.
How can you prevent an accident?
Fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent pedestrian accidents. You can walk on sidewalks or paths, cross the street only at designated crosswalks and wear bright colors or reflective clothing when you're walking at night. If you must cross the street in the dark and don't have on bright colors or reflective clothing, make sure to look both ways and listen for traffic before crossing the street. It is the driver's responsibility to recognize that pedestrians are in the crosswalk, but it takes only a few seconds to double-check that it is safe to cross.