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Common causes of pedestrian accidents

As a pedestrian, you know that one mistake by a driver could lead to an accident with serious injuries. Even so, this doesn't mean you should stop walking or biking from one place to the next, especially since both forms of transportation are most congenial to the environment.

It's important to understand the most common causes of pedestrian accidents, as this can help you prevent trouble in the future.

There are many mistakes car and truck drivers can make that can lead to crashes involving pedestrians. Some of these include:

  • Distracted driving: Cellphone calls, eating, texting, fiddling with the radio dials: All of these distractions have the potential for disaster. Don't assume drivers see you.
  • Drowsy driving: A lack of sleep makes it difficult to make sound decisions as a driver. Dozing off could also cause a person to leave the roadway, thus putting pedestrians in danger. Watch for swerving motorists or sudden changes in speed.
  • Speeding: The faster a person is driving the greater chance there is that he or she will cause an accident, with another vehicle or a pedestrian. Don't assume that an in-town driver is going the speed limit. He or she may be driving much faster than you expect.
  • Failure to signal: When a driver makes a turn without signaling, it could cause confusion among other drivers and pedestrians, leading to an accident. Don't assume a driver is continuing in a straight line.
  • Failure to yield to pedestrians: Some drivers are in such a hurry that they fail to stop when pedestrians are crossing roads, even in well-marked crosswalks. Don't assume drivers will stop for you even if you have the right of way.
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol: This can lead to all types of trouble on the road, including an inability to see or act quickly enough to avoid an accident with pedestrians, bicyclists and other motorists. Watch for erratic driving that could indicate an intoxicated driver.

There is no shortage of issues that can lead to pedestrian accidents. This is why pedestrians need to be cautious at all times.

If you are a pedestrian and a vehicle strikes you, there are three things you should do:

  • Stay put until emergency medical personnel arrive so you can get checked out. This is also a good time to find out if there were any other witnesses to the accident.
  • Seek follow up treatment with a medical professional even if you think you will be okay. Some symptoms don't show up until a few days later.
  • Let a legal professional to educate you about your options. If the driver was responsible for causing the accident, you may be able to receive compensation for your losses.

Finally, be good to yourself, and allow yourself adequate time to heal from your injuries.

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