Common Causes of Virginia Pedestrian Accidents

Motor vehicles need to make sure that there are no pedestrians or cyclists in the crosswalk or intersection. When there is someone in the crosswalk, the driver must yield to them. Common causes of Virginia pedestrian accidents include any scenario where drivers collide with pedestrians that are crossing the street illegally. However, commonality does not mean injure individuals should not reach out to a distinguished pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible.

Virginia Fact Patterns

Common causes of Virginia pedestrian accidents often occur at controlled intersections in which both parties have the right of way. However, the motor vehicle’s responsibility at the controlled intersection is to yield to the pedestrian. There is an order of preference in the right of way. Bicycles must yield to pedestrians and motor vehicles must yield to pedestrians.

The common fact pattern for this to occur is where a motor vehicle approaches a four-way controlled intersection and must stop for a stop sign or a red light. If the way is clear, a motor vehicle can make a right-hand turn on red unless otherwise restricted from doing so in Virginia. However, when a pedestrian is crossing at that same intersection, the vehicle turning right must yield to the pedestrian.

How do Pedestrians Get Hit at Crosswalks?

Too often, pedestrians do not even break their stride going from the sidewalk into a crosswalk in an unmarked intersection. The drivers do not expect the pedestrian to continue walking and there can be an accident or a near accident. It is difficult to establish fault when the automobile did not have enough time to stop, or the pedestrian may not have been given the opportunity to stop. There are dangerous types of behaviors that pedestrians may engage in because of their lack of familiarity with the area.

Risk of Children Pedestrians

Children are involved in pedestrian accidents all too often. The most common causes of Virginia pedestrian accidents involving children are as simple as trying to get a basketball on the road. They may not see the danger that an adult would recognize. They may be having their own childhood interactions like being excited to cross the street to retrieve a toy or ball, or playing in the street area.

Children are smaller and harder to see. Motor vehicle operators may not notice the children until it is too late. This is a common scenario at a controlled intersection where a vehicle is making a turn, and does not see a child in the crosswalk because the child is so small. This often occurs in places where someone’s vision is obscured or the driver is distracted.

How are Teens Vulnerable?

Teens are especially vulnerable because they have a feeling of invincibility. Distractions are common causes of Virginia pedestrian accidents. Teenagers are often focused on their iPhones or other smartphone devices. While these may seem innocent, they put a distracted teen in dangerous situations around them. Teens may not have the full situational awareness in that situation that an adult would have.

Impact of Tourism

Virginia has many historical sites, national attractions, museums, as well as a fantastic and historic downtown area with shopping and dining that makes it a great place to visit. However, tourists who are unfamiliar with the surroundings increase the likelihood of pedestrian accidents. They may be unfamiliar with local traffic patterns. Their lack of familiarity and lack of knowledge of traffic patterns can result in a pedestrian accident.

Common Weather Risks

Weather patterns can be considered one common cause of Virginia pedestrian accidents. However, the time of day becomes a dangerous factor. Virginia has frequent summer storms that often come right at dusk when the lighting is already difficult and it is hard to see pedestrians. Summer storms can have a great negative impact on pedestrians’ abilities to walk safely and could lead directly to accidents.

Accidents Involving Elderly Pedestrians

It is not uncommon that an elderly person is harder to see, therefore that is not considered a common cause of Virginia pedestrian accidents. They are smaller in stature. Elements such as size, using a walker, cane or motorized device while crossing can obscure a drivers ability to be seen.

Triggering Aggressive Driving Habits

Pedestrians have more encounters with aggressive drivers when they do not abide by the pedestrian rules of the road. That includes pedestrians who walk in between cars and traffic without using crosswalks; pedestrians walking too fast or too slow, or do not abide by their own traffic-controlled devices. Drivers can be a threat, or pedestrians in parking lot situations as well.