Pedestrian Accidents: Totally a Driver’s Fault?

Records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that, in 2012, traffic crashes took the lives of 4,743 pedestrians and injured about 76,000 (some injuries led to death a few days after the accident); this means that every two hours a pedestrian is killed, while every seven minutes, one gets injured.

Data from past years also showed that most pedestrian accidents happened in cities and during the night, that most of the victims were male, that half of the total number of accidents occurred on weekends, between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m., and that 37% of those killed, as well as 13% of the drivers of automobiles that hit the pedestrian, were drunk with a 0.08% blood alcohol content level.

Whenever a pedestrian is hit by a vehicle, fault is typically blamed on the driver, who is usually judged as not having any courtesy towards non-motorists. While it is bad enough that some drivers deliberately choose not to yield to pedestrians, joggers and cyclists, others make it worse by making the whole thing like a game, seeing just how close they can get to these people even to the point of almost hitting them.

But, is fault blamable only on a driver? What about pedestrians who are too engrossed in using their cell phone that they never even bother to check the road before crossing it, or those who are too into jogging that he or she would cross the street without even looking first for possible approaching vehicles?

So many accidents happen because of negligence, which is failure to act with reasonable care, causing injury or harm to others as a result. Often, however, proving liability as to whose fault the accident really is can be a legally challenging, but a necessary, task.