Pedestrian accidents can have devastating consequences, including death or serious injuries that require extensive financial resources to treat. They also happen more often than many people think. The Governors Highway Safety Association states that pedestrian fatalities in 2019 were at their highest level in three decades; over 6,500 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents on U.S. roadways.
In Oklahoma alone, there were 741 pedestrians involved in car crashes in 2019, according to data from the OHSA. Of that group, 88 people died, which is an increase from 2018 when there were 64 pedestrian fatalities. The vast majority of Oklahoma pedestrian-related accidents occurred on city streets.
If a pedestrian accident in Oklahoma has caused you injury or taken the life of a loved one, the expert team at Carr & Carr Attorneys at Law can help. We have decades of experience helping accident victims and their families seek fair financial compensation. Schedule a free consultation to discuss your case by calling Carr & Carr at 888-232-5158 or using our online contact form.
Who Does Oklahoma Consider a Pedestrian?
The term pedestrian generally refers to an individual who is traveling on foot. According to the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office (OHSA), a pedestrian is “any person who is not an occupant of a road vehicle.” The OHSA definition of pedestrian does not include bicyclists or operators of other non-motorized vehicles; these are “pedalcyclists.”
What are the Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents?
A report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration based on data from 2017 describes common factors in pedestrian accidents in the United States:
- Alcohol: Nearly 50% of fatal pedestrian crashes involved alcohol impairment on the part of the driver, the pedestrian, or both.
- Illegal driving behavior: Hit-and-run drivers accounted for almost 20% of pedestrian fatalities.
- Light conditions: Three-quarters of fatal pedestrian accidents happened when it was dark.
- Location: Almost 75% of fatal accidents occurred when the pedestrian was not at an intersection. In Oklahoma, over 22% of all pedestrian accidents occurred when a person crossed at a non-intersection. This was also the leading factor in pedestrian fatalities.
Of course, there are just a few examples. Many accidents have more than one contributing factor.
Who is Liable for a Pedestrian Accident?
As with most car accidents, legal liability depends on the exact circumstances of the crash. In general, negligence is a significant factor in determining liability. A person may be considered negligent if he or she doesn’t act in a way that protects others from foreseeable risks. In the case of pedestrian accidents, there are two parties general found liable: the drive who hits the pedestrian, and the pedestrian themselves.
Here are some common examples of driver negligence:
- Distracted driving
- Failing to obey traffic signals
- Not yielding at a crosswalk
- Impaired driving (DUI)
There are also times when a pedestrian may be liable for an accident. Pedestrian negligence may include the following behaviors:
- Running into traffic
- Not obeying traffic signals
- Crossing away from a marked crosswalk
Determining legal liability can be a complicated process that requires an experienced professional.
How Frequently Do Pedestrian Accidents Occur?
Collisions involving motor vehicles and pedestrians happen frequently throughout the U.S. According to 2017 data from the CDC, one pedestrian dies approximately every 88 minutes in the U.S. due to traffic accidents.
Those who survive a pedestrian accident often require emergency medical care. The CDC states that in 2017, emergency medical departments throughout the U.S. treated approximately 137,000 pedestrians for non-fatal injuries sustained in a traffic crash, such as:
- Broken bones
- Internal injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Neck and spinal injuries
In many cases, these injuries can have severe, lifelong consequences. That doesn’t even touch on the emotional trauma caused by the incident.
Discuss Your Case With an Oklahoma Injury Attorney
Crashes involving pedestrians are often more serious than those between motor vehicles. The National Center for Biotechnology Information states that a pedestrian is 1.5 times more likely to be killed in a car crash than a passenger vehicle occupant. In many cases, victims and their families don’t receive adequate financial compensation.
Fortunately, the caring professionals at Carr & Carr Attorneys at Law can help. We have extensive experience helping Oklahomans pursue compensation for pedestrian accidents. When you contact us, we’ll discuss your case and help you understand your legal options. To schedule your free consultation, contact us online or call our office at 888-232-5158. With offices in Oklahoma City, Tulsa and northwest Arkansas, we have an office accessible to you.