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Why do people get involved in pedestrian accidents?

There are a few common reasons people become involved in pedestrian accidents, many of which are the fault of drivers. Sometimes, drivers are moving too fast and fail to see pedestrians in a crosswalk, causing them injury when they fail to stop. Other times, drivers may take a turn and strike someone who has just stepped onto the road. In any case, slowing down and paying attention can typically prevent these horrible accidents from taking place.

Senior citizens over the age of 65 and those under 15 account for 27 percent of all pedestrian fatalities and 34 percent of all pedestrian injuries, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. With numbers that high, it's important to recognize potential dangers to help you stay safe as a pedestrian and to keep people safe when you're driving.

Left-hand turns are dangerous for pedestrians. If a driver turns left quickly to avoid oncoming traffic, he may not have seen a pedestrian crossing the road. The pedestrian is most likely looking ahead to make sure the path is clear; this leads to a higher risk of accidents.

Another danger to pedestrians is texting. Texting is dangerous both as a driver and a pedestrian, because it distracts you from the road. If you're a pedestrian, don't text while crossing the road. If you're a driver, you need to focus on the road ahead -- not on a conversation that can wait.

Interestingly, another risk for children who play on residential roads or pedestrians in those areas is the increasing number of quiet vehicles. Hybrid vehicles can be nearly silent, so the car's approach may not be heard until it's too late to move.

With these facts in mind, you can keep yourself safer and prevent accidents. Remember that it's up to both parties to prevent injury, but if you're hurt by a negligent driver, you could still have a right to compensation.

Source: Traffic Safety Store, "Why People Get Hit: Eight Causes of Pedestrian Accidents," accessed July 14, 2015

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