Modern innovations have led to an increase in efficiency and safety, especially in transportation. However, accidents still happen due to human vulnerabilities. While vehicle collisions gain more coverage on news outlets, pedestrian accidents still happen and are more common than you think.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 1.3 million people die each year due to road traffic crashes. Additionally, these deaths come from vulnerable road users, among which are pedestrians.
Although there are some things that are out of your control, it's still best to be aware of possible scenarios that you might find yourself in. As such, here are the types of pedestrian accidents and how you can avoid them:
1. Collisions on Pedestrian Lanes and Intersections
Most accidents occur because drivers or pedestrians don't pay attention to traffic rules. Crossing a roadway or intersection improperly can result in devastating consequences for both parties.
As a pedestrian, make sure that you always cross in designated areas. Be mindful of the traffic light as well, and don't try to cross the road quickly right before the light changes. This way, if you find yourself in this type of accident, you can attest that you've followed the rules to the letter.
In this instance, it's best to contact a lawyer immediately to help you confirm that you're not the one at fault. Firms like Townsend Law can ensure that you gather concrete evidence of the scene to prove that you stayed in the crosswalk when the collision happened.
2. Getting Hit on Streets With No Sidewalks
Aside from crashes on pedestrian lanes and intersections, you should also be careful when walking on streets that have no dedicated sidewalks. It's so easy for speeding vehicles to bump into you, especially when you're going with the flow of traffic.
A lot of times, this type of accident happens in rural areas. If you frequent two-lane roads that don't have sidewalks, you should make sure to walk facing oncoming traffic so that you can easily move away when a vehicle gets too near. You may also want to wear light-colored clothing to make yourself visible to the driver, especially when you're walking at night.
3. Accidents in Parking Lot
Another type of pedestrian accident that you should be mindful of is the ones that occur in parking lots. Although most drivers reduce their speed in these areas, there's still a risk of collision because of distractions, whether because they're on their mobile phones or they're on the lookout for a place to park.
On the other hand, pedestrians may also be the ones who are distracted. They may be looking inside their bags for their car keys or talking on the phone with someone. As such, they might not hear cars near them. Knowing this, always be vigilant even when you’re in the parking lot.
Common Injuries in Pedestrian Accidents
On top of knowing the different types of pedestrian accidents, it's also good to be aware of the common injuries that are sustained in these situations, such as:
Scratches and Shallow Wounds – These are just relatively minor injuries that occur when you're bumped by a car that's slow-moving. Although it can seem that you've emerged unscathed, you should still be careful about possible infections and other complications.
Soft Tissue Damage – Lacerations, sprains, dislocations, and tears are examples of this type of injury. It can cause severe pain and scars for the patient and can lead to financial problems, especially since they'd be unable to work for a period.
Bone Fractures – Fractures are another common car accident injury. These happen when you fall improperly and break your wrists, elbows, shoulders, and legs. High-impact collisions may result in compound fractures and cause long-term problems for the patient.
Brain Injuries – Aside from breaking your bones, knocking your head on the ground can also lead you to sustain brain injuries, such as concussions. This can lead to loss of consciousness, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, speaking difficulties, and sleep problems. It can also lead to psychological issues, such as depression, anxiety, mood swings, and concentration problems.
Spinal Cord Injuries – Just like brain injuries, damages to the spinal cord can also lead to problems with mobility and cognition. You have to be careful when falling flat on your back during the accident and make sure to check for fractures or misalignments in the spine.
Pedestrian accidents are relatively common. Fortunately, they can be avoided if all road users follow traffic rules and are mindful of each other. It's good to know these types of scenarios so that you can avoid them or know what to do in case you or someone you know gets involved in these situations.