Nobody expects a casual neighborhood stroll to turn tragic. However, accidents do happen and can drastically change life in seconds – especially for travelers on foot. The chances of pedestrian-car accidents are increasing as the years pass. From 2017 to 2018, there was a 3.4% increase in pedestrian-vehicle accidents. In many of these instances, the pedestrians didn’t stand a chance against the wayward vehicles. Motor vehicle accidents resulted in the death of 6,283 pedestrians and accounted for 17 percent of all road fatalities in 2018 nationwide.

The question then turns to: Is there a way to keep pedestrians safe and prevent future tragedies?

Why pedestrian accidents are on the rise

Fatal pedestrian accidents are on the rise for several reasons, including:

  • More motorists and more pedestrians are on the roadways, increasing the chances of being involved in a vehicle-pedestrian crash.
  • Drivers and pedestrians are distracted when using their cell phones, causing them to miss visual cues of an impending accident.
  • Drivers are traveling at increased speeds and often choosing to purchase heavier vehicles, such as SUVs. Both these factors lead to devastating injuries when drivers hit a pedestrian.

Causes of pedestrian accidents

When most people think of pedestrian accidents, they often attribute the cause to be distracted driving or speeding. However, there are various reasons these types of accidents occur, including:

  • Drunk drivers and alcohol-impaired pedestrians
  • Pedestrians not using a crosswalk or crossing, not at an intersection
  • Pedestrians walking or running at night, in an urban area or with dark clothing on
  • Drivers turning left and failing to yield to a crossing pedestrian

Safety tips to prevent a pedestrian accident

To reduce the chances of an accident, both drivers and pedestrians always need to be alert of their surroundings. Neither drivers nor pedestrians should be using their cell phone or drunk at the same time they are navigating streets full of traffic. Pedestrians should always cross at crosswalks or intersections, ideally trying to make eye contact with drivers nearby so they see them crossing. Drivers should be prepared to stop at crosswalks and intersections when pedestrians are crossing.

No driver wants to hit a pedestrian and leave them seriously injured in a crash, and no pedestrian wants their actions to result in devastating, life-threatening injuries either. By keeping in mind these tips and being more attentive, both drivers and pedestrians will be safer, lowering the chances of an accident.