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Are Pedestrian Accidents More Common at Night?

Posted on in Car Accidents

b2ap3_thumbnail_pedestrian.jpgSome people may think walking is a safe way of getting to and from places. However, a pedestrian traveling down the street or in a designated crosswalk can be at risk of being struck by a vehicle, motorcycle, or even a bicycle. The sheer force of the impact in any type of pedestrian accident can result in serious injuries or possibly death. The majority of pedestrian deaths take place on local streets at night, suggesting the need for safer road crossings, signage, lighting, in addition to distracted driving prevention measures. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, nighttime collisions made up more than 90 percent of the total increase in pedestrian fatalities in the last 10 years.

Types of Pedestrian Injuries

Pedestrian accidents can occur when someone is going for a run, taking a stroll, or simply standing on a sidewalk. Regardless if a pedestrian is struck by an automobile, motorcycle, bus or truck, injuries suffered are likely to be much more severe than if the person was a passenger in a car. For a pedestrian, there is no protection between the body and the vehicle to soften the blow. In some cases, a victim may need surgery, extensive rehabilitation, or even amputation. A person is often unable to return to work because of chronic pain or brain damage, which results in hardship due to lost wages. The most common types of injuries a pedestrian can suffer after being struck by any type of vehicle or cycle include:

  • Broken or fractured bones
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Neck injuries resulting in whiplash or fractured vertebrae
  • Back/spinal cord damage or paralysis
  • Internal bleeding
  • Damage to joints, shoulders, or knees

Causes of Pedestrian Injuries

The risk of a pedestrian accident is heightened at night compared to daytime. The increase in nighttime pedestrian fatalities may be attributed to poor street lighting or a lack of traffic enforcement patrols. There are many dangerous driving behaviors, such as speeding or distracted/impaired driving that can also put pedestrians in harm’s way.

A few of these reckless actions include:

  • Distracted driving
  • Drunk driving
  • Left-hand turns
  • Failing to yield at crosswalks
  • Speeding

If a driver, motorcyclist, or bicyclist is not paying attention to the road, he or she may not see a pedestrian until it is too late. A motorist needs ample time to stop and even just a quick glance at his or her phone can mean the difference between life and death. Likewise, if a driver is intoxicated, his or her reaction time will be reduced, potentially causing an accident.

In addition, if a person who is walking or jogging at night is wearing dark clothing, he or she can be hard to see. As a safety precaution, it is important for any pedestrian to wear bright or reflective clothes when going for a walk outside.

Contact a Wheaton Personal Injury Lawyer

Walking outdoors is a popular form of exercise, especially when the weather is nice. However, pedestrian accidents can occur, and studies show that nighttime poses additional risks to a walker. If you or someone you know was struck by a vehicle as a pedestrian, a negligent driver may be at fault, and you may be entitled to seek damages for your pain and suffering. The Law Offices of David W. Clark, P.C. have experience handling all kinds of personal injury claims. Our tenacious DuPage County pedestrian accident attorney will carefully review the circumstances that led to your injuries to determine liability. Call our office today at 630-665-5678 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Sources: https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/pedestrian_safety/index.html

https://www.treehugger.com/cars/why-are-so-many-more-pedestrians-getting-killed-night.html

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