While walking is an excellent form of exercise, it’s not always a safe way to get from Point A to Point B. Pedestrian injuries are on the rise in various cities across the country, including Tucson. In 2015, 161 pedestrians were killed in Arizona – slightly up from 157 in 2013.
Tucson averages nearly 10 pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people, ranking it as the 18th most dangerous city for pedestrians. Many pedestrians involved in accidents are seniors over the age of 65. Alcohol use played a part in nearly half of the crashes.
The evening hours are unsafe for pedestrians, with 26 percent of fatalities occurring between 6 p.m. and 8:59 p.m. Seventy percent of the victims are males, and single vehicles accounted for a large majority (90 percent) of pedestrian fatalities.
Most pedestrian accidents do not occur at intersections. Traffic controls are helpful in reducing crashes, since 74 percent of accidents happen in areas where no signs or signals exist.
Common Types of Pedestrian Injuries
A pedestrian accident can cause a variety of injuries, depending on where the victim was hit, how fast the car was going and how large the vehicle was. Common injuries include:
- Head trauma
- Internal bleeding/injury
- Spinal injury
- Abdominal/chest injury
- Pelvic fracture/injury
- Broken bones.
There could be multiple injuries involved, ranging from minor to life-threatening. In many cases, pedestrian accidents lead to death.
Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
While distracted driving is a major cause of pedestrian accidents, there are other causes, including the following:
Our Tucson Pedestrian Injury Lawyers Understand Liability
Drivers have a duty to drive in a careful manner while on the roadway. This means that they must stay alert at all times, avoid distractions, stay at or under the speed limit, obey traffic signs and signals, yield to pedestrians, signal before turning and avoid driving while intoxicated. If a driver fails to follow any of these rules, he or she could be considered negligent.
Therefore, when a pedestrian is hit by a car, it is assumed that the driver of the vehicle is at fault. While this is true in most cases – since pedestrians typically have the right of way when crossing a road – there are some exceptions.
A pedestrian could be held liable for an accident if the motorist was following all the traffic laws, yet the pedestrian acted erratically. For example, cars on freeways are typically driving at speeds of 55 mph or more. Motorists do not expect to see a pedestrian walking across the freeway at night. If the pedestrian is hit, the driver would not be held liable because the pedestrian was not acting in a safe manner. Likewise, if the motorist swerved to avoid the pedestrian and caused a collision, the pedestrian could potentially be held liable for those damages.
There are situations in which both parties could be held liable for a pedestrian accident. For example, if a pedestrian was crossing the road while not inside a crosswalk, and the driver was speeding, then both could be at fault because they both acted negligently. The injured pedestrian could still recover compensation for injuries, but the award amount is reduced based on his or her percentage of fault.
Pedestrian Safety Tips While in Tucson
Avoid pedestrian accidents by following these safety tips:
- Make yourself be seen by others. Wear bright-colored clothing and carry a flashlight at night. Stay out of the dark and in lighted areas as much as possible.
- Cross at a crosswalk. Don’t jump out in front of cars in random areas of the road. Walk to an intersection and cross there, where it’s safer and drivers will most likely expect you.
- Stay alert. Take off headphones and put down the smartphone when at a crosswalk. You need to use your eyes and ears in case there are emergency sirens, honking horns or other auditory or visual warnings before crossing the intersection.
- Make eye contact with drivers. Do not assume motorists see you. Before crossing the street, make eye contact so that you know the driver sees you.
- Don’t walk while intoxicated. Nearly 50 percent of pedestrian fatalities involve alcohol use. Of those, 34 percent were caused by the pedestrian’s intoxication. Alcohol impairs many of the abilities you need to stay alert, so don’t assume that walking is much better than driving.
Involved in a Pedestrian Accident? Get Legal Help
The Khalidi Law Firm has more than 20 years of experience helping injured Tucson pedestrians recover compensation from negligent drivers. If you were seriously injured while crossing the street, contact the Tucson car accident lawyers at The Khalidi Law Firm for a free consultation. Call (520) 629-9909 today.