Texting & Driver Distraction Cause Ohio Pedestrian Accidents and Death
It may seem like terrible luck if you’ve been hit by a vehicle as a pedestrian, but this kind of accident is more common than you might think. In a report published by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), pedestrian deaths have reached the highest level in 28 years.
Nearly 6,000 pedestrians were killed in 2016 in the United States, up 46 percent from 2009. That is the most pedestrian deaths recorded since 1990. That statistic may seem incredible, but driver behavior has changed in the few decades, with drivers appearing more indifferent to pedestrians and drivers distracted with cell phones and other car technology.
Pedestrian injuries and deaths occur mostly when it is dark and on roads that funnel urban and suburban traffic onto freeways. Deadly crashes may likely occur where there are no intersections or poorly designed crosswalks that tempt pedestrians to dash across multiple lanes of moving traffic. The crashes often involve SUVs, excess speeding, driver distraction and other driver errors.
Joe Lyon is an experienced Ohio personal injury attorney, well-versed in the science and economic impacts of a preventable pedestrian injury or death. Following a serious driver distraction accident, contact an experienced Ohio auto negligence lawyer to investigate.
Poor Road Design & Ohio Pedestrian Accidents
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), pedestrian deaths in the United States may be on track to account for the highest road death toll in 30 years.
Injuries and deaths can be prevented with improvements in road design, vehicle design, lighting and speed limit enforcement. However, driver distraction and impairment play a significant role in total road safety not only for pedestrians but for other motorists.
Federal crash data from 2009 to 2016 help safety agencies narrow down the cause for road-related deaths and injuries. The IIHS estimates that 5,987 pedestrians died in crashes in 2016, representing over 15 percent of all traffic deaths. About 50 percent of pedestrians are hit in intersections and 56 percent hit in the dark.
In addition to introducing safer roadway and crosswalk design, the institute says higher standards for auto headlights may reduce Ohio pedestrian accidents. Since 2016, the institute has issued ratings on unsafe headlights.
Difficult as it may be to believe, many car models do not have headlights that perform well when it’s dark. Testing shows that some vehicles have headlights that allow drivers to see twice as far down the road on a straightaway than headlights on other vehicles.
Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Driver Distraction & Ohio Pedestrian Safety
According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, there were 185 pedestrian fatalities in the period between 2016 and 2017. That number doesn’t take into account the hundreds, if not thousands, of pedestrians and cyclists seriously injured in Ohio auto negligence cases.
Walking, running, cycling or any another activity that involves crossing the road shouldn’t be so dangerous. But when Ohio pedestrian accidents occur, The Lyon Firm can investigate the incident and determine who is liable. Pedestrian accidents typically will include one of the following:
- Intoxicated drivers
- Texting and driving
- Distracted drivers
- Truck driver negligence
- Defective Cars—faulty brakes
- Poorly lit streets
- Excessive speeding
- Unsafe Headlights
- Negligent Road Design
- Poor Crosswalk Design
Stay Safe on the Streets
Compiled data from highway safety offices in all 50 states estimated that around 6,227 deaths from pedestrian accidents were recorded in 2018, the vast majority preventable with safe road design, driver education and auto safety technology.
The increase in pedestrian fatality is a major concern for government agencies, safety advocates and Americans nationwide. The report noted that around 75 percent of pedestrian deaths occur at night when poorly lit roads and drunk driving are more of a factor.
Texting and driving, as well as driver fatigue have been linked to a large percentage of auto accidents. The report does not rule out distracted walking as pedestrians are more likely now to be looking at the mobile phone while crossing the street.
Either way, crosswalks are now more perilous than previously thought, and those walking across roads are urged to be more vigilant than ever before. Even with the go-ahead from a street signal, pedestrians should move with caution.
Safety infrastructure, engineering and driving behavioral strategies can reduce pedestrian deaths with the help of safe vehicle design and motorist vigilance. Law enforcement in most states have made it a priority to protect passengers and pedestrians by enforcing cellphone bans while driving.
Many pedestrians get complacent around crosswalks because assume by following traffic laws, they are safe from harm. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Many pedestrian accidents occur when a driver is turning left very late, or is turning right on red without looking.
Crosswalk accidents are very common, and drivers will be liable for injuries sustained by pedestrians.
School zone accidents are another clear driver infraction that is a clear cut case for the most part. Any child or adult pedestrian injured in a school zone will have legal resources to help compensate them for injury.
If any child’s injuries were caused by a negligent driver, contact an experienced motor vehicle accident lawyer as soon as possible. We can investigate and gather evidence of the driver’s behavior to build the strongest case possible.
Ohio Cycling Accidents
Cyclists have a right to the road, despite how many aggressive drivers might think. The road becomes a perilous place for cyclists when drivers fail to respect bikes sharing the road.
Bike lanes are not always available, and Cycling Accidents still have a right to share the road with cars and trucks, despite the obvious risks. When drivers hit a cyclist due to driver errors or negligence, they may held accountable for the injury and damages.
E-Scooter accidents are another area of concern, as many cities, including Cincinnati, have encouraged pedestrians to grab a scooter and share the road with motorists. Scooter accidents can be severe, and an investigation of the accident will be necessary.
Pedestrian Injury Lawsuits
Not all pedestrian accidents involve motor vehicles. In fact, there are a number of other areas of litigation that cover pedestrian accidents, including dog bite injury cases and premises liability lawsuits. Dog attacks occur very often when a child or adult is simply walking down the sidewalk, minding their own business.
Other injuries to pedestrians can take place when property owners create a dangerous safety hazard on sidewalks, parking lots of driveways. Objects have been left out, and ice and snow has not been attended to. Slip-and-fall accidents occur daily.
Construction sites have dropped material on passing pedestrians. Owners and legal occupants have a duty to reasonably care for their property, and prevent foreseeable hazards.
Risk factors in Ohio pedestrian and cyclist accidents include:
- Population and traffic density
- Time of day
- Poorly maintained sidewalks
- Unmarked crosswalks
- Poorly designed intersections
- Defective traffic and walk signals
- Distracted drivers
Pedestrian Injury Lawsuits
One would think moving on foot would be the safest way to move around, though the increase in deaths related to crosswalk and pedestrian accidents suggest pedestrian safety may be a myth for many. Some experts associate the rise in Cincinnati pedestrian accidents to more distracted drivers in combination with larger vehicles.
Americans have been purchasing larger SUVs and pickup trucks, and at the same time spending more time on their mobile phones while driving. Larger vehicles may have less road visibility than smaller vehicles, and crosswalk accidents are increasing as a result.
The Lyon Firm is dedicated to protecting pedestrians and holding negligent drivers accountable for actions that result in the injury or death of a pedestrian.
Road accident lawsuits can compensate plaintiffs for medical expenses, lost wages, and other related damages. To build the strongest case, plaintiffs are encouraged to collect witness testimony, medical records and photographic evidence of the accident scene.
Auto accident lawyers handling Ohio pedestrian accidents know the traffic and liability laws that will govern your case. The Lyon Firm will engage individual drivers, commercial truck drivers, negligent municipalities, and insurance companies who fail to pay claims in a timely manner.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to Ohio pedestrian accidents, and have questions about the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care in Ohio, contact The Lyon Firm (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer critical questions regarding driver distraction and poorly designed roadways.