Why Pedestrian Accidents Occur More Frequently in the Summer
Whenever a vehicle and a pedestrian get into an accident, the damages the pedestrian suffers are always worse than the damages suffered by the driver and the vehicle. Pedestrians can experience broken bones, spinal cord injury, brain injury, and damage to internal organs. Recent data has also shown that around the country, 2018 had the highest number of pedestrian deaths occur. Pedestrian injuries and deaths caused by vehicle accidents are most common during the summer months. If you believe that you have been a victim of a pedestrian accident and you have not yet filed a claim for compensation, a car accident lawyer at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. can help.
Better weather means more people
There is an easy solution explaining why more pedestrians become victims of summertime accidents: more people are out and about. In walkable cities where tourism is high, in the warm summer months, more people are likely to enjoy the weather by walking to work or taking a leisurely stroll around their neighborhoods.
The number of vehicles that are on the road also increases because more people are enjoying their days off (and the longer amount of sunlight) with their children around where they live. More than one in three pedestrian fatalities occur on local streets. The next most common location is a state highway, followed by a U.S. highway, followed by the Interstate, followed by a county road.
An increase in both the pedestrians and vehicles on the road translates to an increase in the number of pedestrian accidents that occur.
As summer is a time when people driving may be headed to festivals, parties, barbecues, and other get-togethers, this can mean an increase in drunk and reckless drivers. Late-night fatal accidents may be caused by drunk drivers when they return from their summer gatherings while still intoxicated, and these fatal accidents may involve pedestrians.
Distracted driving, in general, can also increase in the summertime. If people are new to the city on vacation and are looking at their GPS system or their phones trying to figure out where they are going, they may fail to see pedestrians on the street and yield to them. This can lead to an increased number of pedestrian accidents.
Drivers are not always the ones fully to blame for a pedestrian accident in Michigan. Walking while distracted, is a risk for pedestrians. The National Safety Council’ recommendation is that people put down their phones while they are walking or jogging. They also claim that teenagers are at the greatest risk of getting into a distracted walking accident due to their increased cell phone use. This number has shifted since 1995: at that time, children ages five to nine were the most vulnerable population to a distracted walking accident, and now it is teenagers.
Using a smartphone while walking could lead to a pedestrian stepping off the curb into the street in front of an oncoming car or using crosswalks when they do not have the right of way or any other failure to pay attention to one’s surroundings.
If you are a victim in a distracted walking accident, you may not be able to recover financial compensation for your injuries because you are partially liable for the accident’s occurrence.
Michigan pedestrian safety measures
Michigan has put in place a number of initiatives designed to reduce pedestrian accidents and fatalities. These include training and mobilizing law enforcement, educating the public, conducting Road Safety Audits, publishing a Work Zone Mobility Manual regarding the treatment of pedestrians in work zones, installing traffic control devices, and following Complete Streets policies.
As such, even as the nation’s pedestrian deaths increase, Michigan’s decreased from 2017 to 2018. This does not mean, however, that pedestrian deaths are not an issue in Michigan.
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident through no fault of your own, call an experienced car accident lawyer at Cochran, Kroll & Associates P.C. at 1-866-MICH LAW (1-866-642-4529) to book a free consultation today.