In a perfect world, drivers and pedestrians share the road in a respectful manner. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case and far too many pedestrians suffer serious personal injuries because vehicle drivers fail to take the precautions necessary to avoid these accidents. Pedestrian accidents are also a significant problem here in Virginia. Last year, 125 pedestrians were killed and safety advocates predict that number will be even higher by the time 2022 is over.
It is these alarming numbers that led our Virginia personal injury law firm to commission a pedestrian accident study and develop a Virginia pedestrian danger zone interactive map that reveals the most dangerous areas in Virginia for pedestrians.
Drivers’ Reactions to Pedestrians
In the majority of pedestrian accidents, it is the driver of the vehicle that is at fault. One of the major issues is the failure of drivers to even notice the pedestrians around them. A study by researchers at the University of Toronto Engineering studied the eye movement of drivers who entered busy intersections. Participants of the study ranged in age from 35 to 54. All of the participants had good driving records and were considered low risk for causing car accidents.
The researchers used eye-tracking equipment to access where participants were looking when they were turning at an intersection. Each participant was required to make right turns at several locations in downtown Toronto, including a signalized four-way intersection and an uncontrolled T-intersection that led to a smaller street. These turns also required participants to turn right across a dedicated cycling lane.
The results revealed that more than half of the study participants failed to make the necessary eye scans, looking for pedestrians and/or cyclists when the driver was going to make a right-hand turn. Many of them were also easily distracted by all the activity at the busy intersections, like obeying all the traffic signs and signals, and watching for other vehicles and traffic.
Another key finding was that when a participant was more familiar with the area, the less cautious they were at the intersections. The less familiar they were, the more cautious they are.
The results of the study are not only a reminder for drivers to properly look in all areas for pedestrians while approaching intersections and taking right turns, but it is also a critical reminder for pedestrians to be aware of their surroundings, since the results reveal that many drivers are not properly scanning before they turn and may not see them.
Proving Fault in a Pedestrian Accident
One of the key elements of a pedestrian accident case is proving who was at fault. In the majority of pedestrian accidents, the vehicle driver violated one or more traffic violations. This often includes ignoring crosswalks, traffic signals, signs, intersections, and right-of-way laws. Another common factor in pedestrian accidents is alcohol and/or drug use on the part of the driver. According to national data, almost half of all fatal pedestrian accidents are alcohol-related.
Your Virginia personal injury attorney will investigate all the evidence in your case to determine why the accident occurred and who was at fault.
Contact a Virginia Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, you may be able to pursue compensation that will address your medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and more.
The Virginia pedestrian accident attorneys at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp have been advocating for victims and their families for more than 35 years, using all available resources to successfully obtain the best possible outcome based on the circumstances of the case. Our attorneys have built solid reputations as skilled negotiators who will not hesitate to pursue litigation if the insurance company fails to negotiate in good faith, like the $1.1 million Virginia pedestrian accident with personal injuries settlement for one client – a high school senior – who was critically injured after being hit by a tractor-trailer as he was crossing the road.
Call our office today for a free case evaluation and to find out how our legal team can help get you the financial compensation you deserve.
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