Walking is a healthy activity and a free form of transportation. It is also a potential source of injury risk for the average person. Pedestrian collisions, which occur when a motor vehicle strikes a pedestrian, often lead to severe injuries or death. Frequently, pedestrian crashes are the result of a mistake made by someone in a motor vehicle, which means that pedestrians often have a difficult time preventing such collisions from occurring.
However, it is possible for pedestrians to learn about the top contributing factors to many pedestrian crashes and then adjust their personal habits to minimize their risk. These are the three most common types of pedestrian collisions involving motor vehicles.
According to a report on pedestrian collisions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), alcohol plays a role in a shocking number of pedestrian crashes.
Data from 2019 indicates that as many as 32% of pedestrians involved in collisions may have alcohol in their bloodstream at the time of impact. Another 13% of pedestrian crashes involve a drunk driver in the vehicle that strikes them, and some collisions involve both parties having had too much alcohol prior to an injurious crash.
Researchers have also pointed out that mobile phone use is particularly dangerous for pedestrians. Someone might step out right in front of a vehicle in heavy traffic because they aren’t monitoring their surroundings but are instead focused on their phone. Distracted drivers are also a common source of collision risk, as they don’t properly monitor their surroundings and can easily cause a crash as a result.
Many of the worst pedestrian crashes occur during transitional times of day, during major storms or after the sun sets. Walking late at night or when the weather reduces visibility could increase someone’s risk of a crash, especially if they don’t invest in reflectors or illuminated gear to draw the eyes of nearby drivers.
Pedestrians who avoid distraction, chemical impairment and low visibility scenarios can still get hurt because the people in vehicles don’t always make the safest choices. Knowing what causes pedestrian-vehicle crashes can help you to mitigate this risk, however.