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3 driving habits that increase pedestrian crash risk

On Behalf of | Jun 4, 2024 | Pedestrian accidents

Motorists frequently act as though they own the roads. They may resent the obligation to remember secondary sets of traffic rules related to other forms of transportation. They may find the perceived inconvenience of yielding to a pedestrian in a crosswalk to be a source of frustration.

The law very clearly requires that drivers share the road with not just pedestrians but also cyclists and motorcycle riders. Despite current traffic rules, many drivers fail to make the right safety choices in traffic and may then cause collisions that injure cyclists or worse. Small choices that drivers make in traffic, including the following, can directly increase their chances of causing a pedestrian collision.

Rolling through stop signs

Especially when drivers know one area well, they may not follow safety rules as carefully as they should. Their sense of familiarity makes them overconfident. Drivers may roll through a four-way stop or choose not to fully stop at a traffic light. They may have failed to notice a pedestrian nearby before making that choice and can cause serious crashes when they roll through the intersection instead of coming to a complete stop.

Exceeding the speed limit

Speeding is probably the most common traffic violation. A significant portion of drivers habitually break the speed limit in areas ranging from residential roads with 25 miles per hour (mph) speed limits to rural roads with much higher speed limits. Faster vehicle speeds make it more difficult for drivers to stop in time when they encounter pedestrians. Higher speeds also have a direct correlation with an elevated risk of severe injury or death for the pedestrians.

Driving while distracted

Distraction is a safety issue that people underestimate. Not only do people fail to recognize the overall prevalence of distraction, but they may also fail to recognize how many different scenarios count as distracted driving. People with their phones in their hands, a meal to eat on the way to work or an intense conversation underway may not properly monitor their surroundings while driving. The amount of time it takes to read a single text message could be long enough for a driver to overlook a pedestrian stepping into traffic.

Little choices that drivers make in traffic may end up having dire consequences for pedestrians. Filing an insurance claim or civil lawsuit can help pedestrians cover the costs caused by pedestrian collisions. Drivers who make unsafe choices may need to accept accountability when they hurt others in traffic.

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