Pedestrian Accidents and Distracted Driving
Pedestrian injuries and fatalities are on the rise across the country, and distracted driving is largely to blame. According to the Governors Highway Safety Administration (GHSA), pedestrian fatalities in the United States have risen 35 percent in the past ten years. Over 6,000 pedestrians died and another 66,000 were injured in the year 2018 alone. New Jersey has the third highest rate of pedestrian fatalities across the nation with more than 125 pedestrian deaths each year.
Distracted Driving Behaviors Lead to Pedestrian Accidents
Distracted driving has become the leading cause of car accidents in the United States. Drivers who fail to obey distracted driving laws put other drivers and pedestrians at risk of serious injury and death. When a distracted driver runs over or hits a pedestrian, the injuries are often catastrophic.
Any time a driver diverts their attention from the road in front of them, there is a high risk for a serious car accident. The five seconds it takes for a driver to send a text message is equivalent to driving the length of a football field blindfolded. Cell phone usage and text messaging are the most common and deadliest forms of distracted driving, but they are not the only dangerous behaviors. Others include:
- Eating and drinking while driving
- Passenger distraction
- Reaching for objects in the passenger seat or in the back of the car
- Tending to children in the vehicle
- Selecting music or onboard entertainment
- Use of onboard navigation systems
- Drowsy driving and daydreaming
- Focus on outside activities, such as a sporting event or scenery
- Driving with pets in the car
While some distraction is unavoidable, drivers have a legal responsibility to operate their car in a safe manner that is reasonably free from distraction. It may be hard to avoid some of these behaviors, but in most cases, distracted driving accidents involving pedestrians can be prevented. Pulling over to attend to children or pets in the car, or changing a DVD for the passengers in the vehicle, or to consult navigation directives allows drivers to focus on the task at hand while eliminating their distraction from driving.
Liability for Pedestrian Accidents
In the majority of pedestrian accidents, the driver of the vehicle involved in the accident is liable for the injuries sustained. Pedestrians are expected to follow the same rules of the road that drivers follow. However, drivers are obligated to yield to pedestrians, even when they are not in designated crosswalks, sidewalks, or bicycle lanes.
Consultation with an experienced and knowledgeable pedestrian accident lawyer is pivotal to a successful claim that will cover medical expenses and other damages relating to the trauma brought on by the accident. In the case of fatal pedestrian accidents, family members can also bring a wrongful death suit against the driver responsible for the accident.
New Brunswick Pedestrian Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Help Victims of Pedestrian Accidents Claim Compensation
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a pedestrian accident, call the New Brunswick pedestrian accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr at 877-249-4600 or 732-537-8570, or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. Our Highland Park, New Jersey offices serve clients in New Brunswick, Somerset, Piscataway, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, and Colonia.