Kansas City Crosswalk Accidents
Right of Way Violations Injure Pedestrians. You Have the Right to Pursue Compensation.
In the past 10 years, pedestrian deaths in the US have increased by 50%. 2018’s fatality count – 6,283 – is higher than any year since 1990. The number of pedestrian injuries across the US has not yet been calculated for 2018, but the year before, 71,000 pedestrians were hurt in accidents.
No one is sure what’s behind this trend, but it spells bad news for those who try to make greener choices or hit their daily step count goals. Pedestrians may sustain serious injuries, or even die, if struck by a vehicle. If you or a loved one were injured by a collision in a crosswalk, you may want to file suit for full compensation.
Injuries Are Increasing—but Why?
As carmakers integrate more safety features, such as automatic braking and proximity alerts, the number of overall fatalities from car crashes is dropping. Pedestrian fatalities have yet to follow suit. After all, most of these improvements are made with two-car accidents in mind.
These changes don’t account for the upward trend in pedestrian accidents, though. Reasons for this increase include:
- People Walk More: Studies in 2016 and 2017 that asked participants if they’d walked to work within the last week found a 4% increase between the two years. Though more walkers aren’t the only cause of the increase in pedestrian accidents, they may contribute.
- Larger Vehicles: As SUVs and crossovers continue to grow in popularity, pedestrian injuries will likely continue to increase. Sedans and coupes, when they hit people, typically hit their legs. Taller, heavier vehicles can cause chest and head trauma, which is much more likely to result in serious injury or death. In the last decade, fatal SUV-pedestrian crashes have increased by 81%.
- Distracted Driving: Screens are more prevalent and functional than ever; many car models even come with built-in dash monitors. Though lawmakers and whistleblowers have emphasized the dangers of distracted driving for years, many people still haven’t gotten the message. Causality rates are hard to track, as by the time police arrive, it’s impossible to say whether the driver was using their phone at the time of the accident; however, they are probably higher than the estimated 9%.
- Distracted Walking: Honolulu passed a ban on distracted walking after an upswing in crosswalk accidents—now, anyone looking at a screen instead of at their surroundings while crossing the street will face a fine. The city passed this rule in response to thousands of accidents involving distracted walkers, many with cars or other vehicles. While most cities probably won’t go this far to keep pedestrians safe, the principle behind the law is sound.
Causes of Crosswalk Collisions
Of all the places pedestrian accidents might happen, you might guess that crosswalks would have a lower incidence. Though they make roadways safer for pedestrians, they are still the location of many accidents. Pedestrians tend to assume crosswalks will be safe and let their guard down, while cars may not give them much thought because they don’t pose a threat. Here are some common crosswalk accident types:
- Turning Vehicles: When drivers forget to look for or fail to yield to pedestrians before making their turn.
- Running a Stop Sign/Stop Light: Whether due to distraction, fatigue, or stress, drivers may blow through intersections at high speed, giving pedestrians little or no time to react.
- Multiple Threats: In multi-lane roads, a car that’s stopped at a crosswalk may block a crossing pedestrian from other drivers’ view. If the other cars fail to follow the stopped car’s cue, they may surprise (and be surprised by) a pedestrian at the last minute.
- Pedestrian Trapped: Especially a hazard for slower pedestrians, a short traffic signal may not provide enough time to cross a street. Drivers who are looking at the traffic signal rather than the crossing may hit a pedestrian on a green light.
- Unmarked Crosswalks: Pedestrians typically cross streets in intersections, but many are not marked with crosswalk indicators. Without the visual cue, drivers may fail to notice the enhanced likelihood of pedestrian crossings and forget to slow down and look.
Though roadway engineers have many suggestions to make crosswalks safer, implementation takes time, money and, perhaps most importantly, government approval. If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, your best choice may be to file a lawsuit for restitution.
Filing a Lawsuit After a Pedestrian Accident
If you or a loved one were hit while in a crosswalk (marked or unmarked), you have a strong argument that the other party was at fault. This may help you prevail in settlement talks or a lawsuit—where you can recover all the expenses caused by the accident, including:
- Medical bills
- Future medical payments
- Missed work
- Legal fees
With the help of an attorney evaluation, you can begin to build your case for compensation. Pedestrian accidents are painful and dangerous, and you shouldn’t have to pay for your injuries on your own.