Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrian accidents can have severe consequences, often resulting in injuries and even fatalities. Knowing the common causes of these accidents is crucial for both pedestrians and drivers to enhance road safety. Our dedicated attorneys at Altman Nussbaum Shunnarah have taken the time to explore prevalent factors contributing to pedestrian accidents, shedding light on the importance of vigilance and responsible behavior on the road. In this blog we discuss some of the causes of pedestrian accidents.

Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is a perilous behavior that occurs when a driver’s attention is diverted away from the primary task of operating a vehicle. This widespread issue poses a significant threat to road safety, contributing to numerous accidents and fatalities. Common distractions that result in pedestrian accidents include;

  • Texting: The act of sending or reading text messages demands a driver’s visual, manual, and cognitive attention. A mere glance at a phone screen can result in a loss of focus and increase the risk of collisions with pedestrians.
  • Phone calls: Engaging in phone conversations, whether hands-free or handheld, introduces cognitive distractions. Important or emotionally charged discussions can divert a driver’s focus from the road and lead to impaired reaction times.
  • Eating: Juggling food or beverages while driving diverts attention and often requires manual dexterity. Spills or unexpected events can lead to a loss of control, posing a danger to pedestrians and fellow drivers.
  • Adjusting controls: Tuning the radio, changing music playlists, or programming GPS coordinates diverts a driver’s hands and eyes from the road. These seemingly minor actions contribute cumulatively to the overall risk of distraction.
  • Passenger conversations: Engaging in animated discussions with passengers can be distracting, especially when conversations become emotionally charged or require intense focus. This dynamic can compromise a driver’s ability to react to sudden changes in road conditions.

Preventing distracted driving requires a concerted effort from both drivers and regulatory authorities. Public awareness campaigns highlighting the dangers of distracted driving can play a pivotal role in educating drivers about the potential consequences. Additionally, strict enforcement of laws prohibiting the use of handheld devices while driving is crucial in discouraging such behaviors.

Failure to Yield

Pedestrians have the right of way in designated crosswalks, and drivers are expected to yield to them. However, failure to yield is a common cause of accidents, often occurring when drivers ignore traffic signals or fail to give pedestrians the necessary right of way. Drivers should be attentive to crosswalks and exercise caution in areas with high pedestrian traffic.


Excessive speed significantly increases the risk of pedestrian accidents. When drivers go beyond the designated speed limit, there is little time to react to unexpected situations, making it challenging to avoid collisions with pedestrians. Maintaining a safe and reasonable speed is crucial for preventing accidents and ensuring the safety of both drivers and pedestrians.

Impaired Driving

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs poses a significant threat to pedestrians. Impaired drivers may have reduced reaction times and impaired judgment, increasing the likelihood of accidents. It is imperative for individuals to avoid driving while under the influence and to use alternative means of transportation when impaired.

Poor Visibility

Limited visibility, especially during adverse weather conditions or at night, contributes to pedestrian accidents. Both drivers and pedestrians need to be aware of their surroundings and take precautions to enhance visibility. Pedestrians should wear reflective clothing when walking in low-light conditions, and drivers should use headlights and exercise extra caution in inclement weather.


Pedestrian behavior also plays a role in accidents, with jaywalking being a common issue. Jaywalking occurs when pedestrians cross the road at undesignated locations or against traffic signals. Both pedestrians and drivers should adhere to traffic laws to minimize the risk of accidents. Pedestrians should use crosswalks and obey traffic signals to ensure their safety.

Inadequate Infrastructure

Poorly designed or maintained infrastructure can contribute to pedestrian accidents. Insufficient signage, poorly marked crosswalks, and inadequate lighting can make it challenging for both drivers and pedestrians to navigate safely. Municipalities and local authorities must invest in proper infrastructure to create a safer environment for everyone.

Let Our Attorneys Help You Today 

Pedestrian accidents are often preventable with increased awareness, responsible behavior, and adherence to traffic laws. Having a clear picture of the common causes discussed in this guide, both drivers and pedestrians can contribute to safer roads. At Altman Nussbaum Shunnarah, we emphasize the importance of road safety and encourage everyone to be vigilant and considerate while driving or walking through the streets. Any injuries caused by negligence allow you to seek compensation. Reach out to us via (857)-239-8161 toll-free for legal guidance.

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