What are the most common causes of pedestrian accidents? | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

Pedestrian accidents can have devastating consequences, often resulting in severe injuries or even fatalities. Understanding the most common causes of pedestrian accidents is crucial for both pedestrians and drivers to take preventive measures and ensure road safety. If you or a loved one has been injured, it is important to speak with a skilled Virginia Beach pedestrian accident lawyer to find out what legal recourse you may have. The following are the most common causes of pedestrian accidents:

Distracted Driving

One of the leading causes of pedestrian accidents is distracted driving. Drivers using smartphones, adjusting the radio, eating, or engaging in other activities that divert their attention from the road may fail to notice pedestrians crossing or walking along the road.

Failure to Yield

Drivers failing to yield the right of way to pedestrians at crosswalks or intersections is a frequent cause of accidents. Pedestrians legally have the right to cross at marked crosswalks, and drivers must stop to let them pass.


Speeding reduces a driver’s reaction time and stopping distance. When drivers exceed the speed limit, they may not have enough time to stop or avoid a pedestrian who suddenly enters the road.

Impaired Driving

Alcohol and drug impairment significantly impair a driver’s judgment, coordination, and reaction time. Impaired drivers are more likely to hit pedestrians due to impaired perception and decision-making.

Backing Up Accidents

Drivers backing out of driveways or parking spots may not notice pedestrians behind their vehicles. These accidents often happen in residential areas and parking lots.

Turning Accidents

When making turns at intersections, drivers may not check for pedestrians in the crosswalk before proceeding. Left-turning drivers are particularly prone to striking pedestrians.

Inadequate Signage and Crosswalks

Poorly marked crosswalks, missing signage, or inadequate traffic control measures can confuse both pedestrians and drivers, increasing the risk of accidents.

Drowsy Driving

Fatigued drivers have reduced alertness and slower reaction times, making it more likely for them to miss seeing pedestrians or react too late.

Reckless Driving

Aggressive or reckless driving behaviors, such as running red lights, weaving through traffic, and ignoring pedestrian right of way, put pedestrians in danger.

If You Have Been Injured

In the unfortunate event of a pedestrian accident, victims may be entitled to collect various damages through a lawsuit, depending on the circumstances of the case. These damages aim to compensate the victim for their losses and suffering. Here are some common types of damages that victims can pursue:

  • Medical expenses: Victims can seek compensation for all medical costs related to their injuries, including hospital bills, surgeries, medication, physical therapy, and ongoing medical care.
  • Lost income: If the victim is unable to work due to their injuries, they can claim damages for lost wages and potential future earnings if their ability to work is permanently affected.
  • Pain and suffering: This category covers the physical pain, emotional distress, and psychological suffering caused by the accident and injuries sustained.
  • Disability and impairment: In cases where the victim suffers a long-term or permanent disability or impairment, they may be entitled to compensation for their diminished quality of life and loss of enjoyment.
  • Punitive damages: In cases of extreme negligence or intentional harm, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the responsible party and deter similar behavior in the future.

It’s important to note that the specific damages and their amounts can vary depending on the circumstances of the accident. Victims should consult with an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer to assess their case and determine the appropriate damages to pursue in their lawsuit.