Pedestrian Accident Attorneys in Montgomery
As more people attempt to stay healthy by walking, we unfortunately are seeing an increase in the number of pedestrian-car accidents.
A car weighing 5,000 pounds traveling at any rate of speed can severely injured a 150-pound person. Because of that, according to the CDC, a pedestrian is 1.5 times more likely than the person in the car to be killed in a car crash. A pedestrian being struck by an SUV makes a fatality twice as likely.
If you have been injured by a vehicle when you were a walking, we offer you a complimentary consultation to determine if you will be able to recover any damages from your accident.
We understand that you are suffering and may have significant losses, both medically and financially. In Alabama, the party who is at-fault is responsible for paying for your losses.
You may be eligible to receive compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical bills. In the case of a fatality, the survivors may recover the cost of a funeral and burial.
Pedestrian Accidents are Growing Sharply
Federal regulators are keeping an eye on the dramatic increase in the number of pedestrian fatalities. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), its preliminary 2019 data shows during the ten years from 2009 to 2018, nationwide pedestrian fatalities increased 53%.
Compare that to deaths from other traffic accidents. All other traffic fatalities combined increased 2 percent during that same time period.
After adjusting for underreporting, GHSA estimates in 2019 there were 6,590 pedestrians killed in motor vehicle crashes, an increase of 5% from the year before or approximately 300 deaths.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 5,977 pedestrians killed in traffic accidents in the U.S. in 2017. That is more than 16 people a day and is a slight drop from the previous year (6,080) but part of a steady rise since 2008.
In Alabama, pedestrian crashes echo the national trends.
According to CAPS, from 2008 to 2017, pedestrian crashes increased 63%, with more than half being fatal. There were 119 pedestrian fatalities in our state in 2017. From January to June 2019, the most recent figures available, that number was 51 individual pedestrian fatalities for half the year.
Montgomery has the third highest number of pedestrian deaths in the state after Jefferson and Mobile counties.
Combine distracted walking with drugs and/or alcohol and you have a potentially deadly combination.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), alcohol was involved in 47 percent of traffic crashes that led to a pedestrian fatality in 2017, either on the part of the driver or the pedestrian.
Other factors to consider in pedestrian fatalities are economic conditions, demographics, fuel prices, and weather.
Causes of Pedestrian Deaths
A pedestrian is defined as anyone walking, running, jogging, hiking, or sitting on the road. Excluded are pedestrians on roller skates, using baby strollers, or motorized skateboards. Foot traffic alone is seeing this rise.
Besides distracted walking, other factors contributing to the rise in pedestrian fatalities/ accidents include:
- Walking in an urban area at night
- Walking on the side of the road, not on the sidewalk
- Walking not facing traffic
- Walking intoxicated or on drugs
- Walking outside of the lighted intersection
- Using earbuds that do not allow you to hear the sound of your surroundings
- Standing too near the roadway when your car has a mechanical issue or is pulled over after being involved in a minor crash
What Can Be Done About Pedestrians Accidents?
Consider what Honolulu, Hawaii did to address the distracted pedestrian problem. In 2017, that city decided to ban distracted walking by imposing a distracted walking law. It is illegal to text while walking. The city knew that every time someone looked down at their screen for even five seconds, they were putting their lives in jeopardy.
Researchers at the University of Alabama Birmingham plan to reduce the number of pedestrian accidents. They found when a Bluetooth beacon was placed at intersections on campus, they could warn pedestrians on the smartphone screen that they are about to enter a crosswalk, reminding them to be alert to approaching traffic.
Some states have turned to addressing pedestrian safety through education campaigns, the engineering of roadways, and enforcement.
As a pedestrian you can do the following to stay safe:
- Wear reflective clothing and carry a flashlight
- Cross at designated crosswalks or intersections
- Make sure you walk on the sidewalk and not the road. If you are on the shoulder, face traffic. Drivers must be aware of pedestrians at all times. Like pedestrians, they should be free from distractions such as phones, alcohol, or drugs.
- Do not walk at night. 76% of pedestrians are hit after dark and nighttime pedestrian deaths increased 5%.
- Avoid intoxicated or distracted walking
- Support education campaigns and walkable communities
As a driver you can keep everyone on the road safe by:
- Being aware of pedestrians, including on the side of the road and outside of crossing areas that are lit
- Stopping for pedestrians in a crosswalk
- Never pass another car stopped in a crosswalk. Assume there is a pedestrian ahead
- Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Never speed and especially in areas where there are pedestrians.
- Always slow down in areas where children may be present such as school zones and neighborhoods
Your Alabama Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
As you may be aware, a pedestrian accident with a car can forever alter your life. If you have been harmed in a pedestrian collision with a car, it might not be your fault.
Attorney Chip Nix can answer your questions about what rights you have to recovery during this difficult time. You may be entitled to pain and suffering, lost wages, medical bills, recovery of any surgery or rehabilitation cost. If there is a fatality, you may also seek the funeral expenses. Mr. Nix has four decades of experience helping others and our firm is dedicated to help you during this difficult time. Please contact us online or call at 334-279-7770 and we can begin the conversation.