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7 Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

On Behalf of | Jul 6, 2022 | Firm News

Pedestrian accidents can cause the most catastrophic injuries because pedestrians have no way to protect themselves. They are often at the mercy of large vehicles traveling at higher rates of speed. Whether a driver or pedestrian is negligent, the result can be life-threatening.

Seeking compensation from a negligent party means proving causation. You must show that someone’s negligent actions led to the crash that caused your injury. When it comes to pedestrian accidents, many of the causes are similar to other collisions on the road. Driver negligence plays a large role in causing pedestrians to sustain harm.

Some of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents include:

  • Intoxicated drivers
  • Distracted drivers
  • Speeding
  • Impatient drivers
  • Unmarked crosswalks
  • Distracted pedestrians
  • Rolling stops

Call our firm today at 703-721-4233 and discover how we can safeguard your rights.

Intoxicated Drivers

Drunk drivers are some of the most dangerous on the road. They put everyone at risk, including pedestrians crossing the street and on sidewalks. It is easy for an intoxicated driver to swerve to the side of the road, drive over the curb, and ride on the sidewalk before they even recognize the conseuqneces of their actions. As a result, pedestrians can suffer some of the worst injuries.

A drunk driver will have issues with vision, reaction time, and decision-making. They do not always have the capacity and motor function to operate their vehicle carefully. They may not stop in time to avoid crashing into a pedestrian legally crossing the street or walking on a sidewalk.

Distracted Drivers

A distracted driver may look away from the road for just a few seconds. In this time, they can run through an intersection. Pedestrians who are crossing the street legally can become victims when distracted drivers look at their cell phones or otherwise are distracted.

Distractions can include visual, manual, and cognitive. The driver loses their focus, takes a hand off the steering wheel, or looks away from the road. In this short time span, drivers may not be able to stop for a pedestrian or give them the right of way. The result? A severe incident that can cause catastrophic or fatal injuries.


Whenever someone is speeding, their ability to stop becomes lessened. No matter how hard they slam on their brakes, the vehicle may not stop in time to prevent an accident. Pedestrian accidents involving speeding drivers often occur at intersections or unmarked crosswalks.

Impatient Drivers

Impatient and inexperienced drivers often cause some of the worst crashes when they need to turn or after approaching a stop sign or traffic light. They may push too closely to pedestrians or try to turn too quickly before the pedestrian fully crosses the street. Whenever this happens, the driver can clip the pedestrian or crash into them, sending them to the ground with severe injuries.

Unmarked Crosswalks

Not all drivers are aware of unmarked crosswalks and how they impact the laws concerning the right of way. It is crucial to recognize that, when there is an unmarked crosswalk, drivers should yield to pedestrians to ensure that they are safe. An unmarked crosswalk can be at an intersection that would indicate the possibility of pedestrians crossing without a traffic signal or lines on the floor.

Distracted Pedestrians

Unfortunately, some pedestrians are also responsible for crashes. It is one of the potential issues that can arise when a pedestrian is not paying attention as they cross the street. The pedestrian should follow these steps to stay as safe as possible when crossing the road:

  • Make eye contact with the driver as they are approaching the crosswalk.
  • Stay as visible as possible and avoid crossing where it is dark.
  • Remove headphones if you are using them so that you can hear vehicles coming in your direction.
  • Put the phone down and avoid texting while crossing the street.

As a pedestrian, you should never rely on the driver to keep you safe. Never assume they have seen you or that they are going to stop to prevent an accident. Instead, always proceed with caution to avoid a severe injury.

Rolling Stops

Rolling stops can be a big problem. Not all drivers stop when they should, and this impatient behavior can result in the driver crashing into a pedestrian. While these accidents do not always involve high rates of speed, they can still cause the pedestrian to sustain severe injuries.

It is crucial for drivers and pedestrians alike to pay close attention. The more each party does to prevent an accident, the fewer problems that arise. If something does happen, though, injured parties deserve the right to hire legal counsel and pursue compensation for their damages.

At Shevlin Smith, we care about our clients. We want to protect them through complicated legal issues that follow a severe injury. You have enough to worry about, and you should not have to deal with insurance companies and adjusters trying to take advantage of your rights. Instead, you can leave the difficult matters to our experienced team.

Our Fairfax pedestrian accident attorneys know the severe injuries you can sustain because of someone else’s negligent actions. We make it our mission to safeguard your rights and help you through the process with peace of mind. Allow our team to help you seek the most favorable outcome possible. We care about you and want to help you move forward with confidence.

For a free case evaluation, we encourage you to contact our team at 703-721-4233. We’re here to help you and answer all of your questions.