Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in New Orleans
Pedestrian accidents are devastating, resulting in catastrophic injuries, immense pain and suffering, and a future filled with many questions and concerns. In fact, pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely than motor vehicle occupants to be killed in a crash. Typically, these pedestrian accidents occur because of negligent or reckless drivers. However, there are other factors and situations that can cause these horrific crashes.
In this blog post, we will look at some of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents in New Orleans. Discuss actions you can take to reduce these types of accidents and show you how an experienced personal injury law firm can provide you the legal help you need if you were involved in a New Orleans pedestrian accident.
Why Walkers Get Hit- The Main Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
All motor vehicle drivers need to not only obey the traffic laws but must watch out for other individuals on the roads and use reasonable care. This includes keeping an eye out for pedestrians who may not be as easily seen as other vehicles. Unfortunately, this extra caution does not always happen, and devastating pedestrian accidents occur, leading to significant injuries and even death. In New Orleans, some of the most common causes of pedestrian crashes include the following:
Unfortunately, distracted driving is nothing new. Motorists are constantly either texting and driving, eating and driving, or doing other activities that distract them from paying attention to the road. Consequently, if a pedestrian happens to get in front of them, the driver may not even realize they are there and can end up crashing into them.
Drinking and Driving
Motorists who decide to get behind the wheel while intoxicated either through alcohol or drugs can be dangerous for everyone on the road, including pedestrians. Intoxicated drivers not only lack reaction times, general skills to drive, and reasoning, but they often end up not seeing the pedestrians that are crossing the road.
Louisiana’s speeding laws prohibit motorists from driving at speeds that are greater than “reasonable and prudent under the conditions.” As a result, not only is speeding in Louisiana against the law, but it can also be considered reckless driving. If a pedestrian is hit at these excessive speeds, the damages can be life-changing.
Sometimes hazardous conditions can make it impossible for a motorist to drive safely. If roads are covered with ice, rain, or even fog, the situation can become perilous, especially for pedestrians on these roadways. Often, these drivers are unable to see a pedestrian in these bad weather conditions or cannot stop in time to avoid hitting them.
Sure, construction is nothing new in New Orleans and can be found everywhere. But what many motorists fail to realize is if there is road construction, many pedestrians are forced to walk in areas where it is not safe for them to walk, such as the roadways with fast passing cars.
Failing to Yield or Stop
Drivers who do not obey traffic laws can be considered incredibly dangerous to other motorists and pedestrians. When a driver decides to roll through an intersection or a stoplight or fails to yield to a pedestrian who has the right of way, the results can be devastating.
Motor Vehicles Making a Left Turn
Even if a pedestrian has the signal to walk, it does not mean that they are free and clear of dangers on the roadway. For instance, many accidents often occur when a pedestrian has the right-of-way on a crosswalk because a car is making a left-hand turn, trying to navigate the intersection, and not paying attention to the pedestrians crossing.
It is a normal late-night activity, taking a jog or walks to distress from a hectic day. But if you plan to hit those streets when the sun sets, it is recommended that you wear white or light-colored clothing and carry or have lights on your body to help you become more noticeable to passing cars. Even if there are street lights in areas where pedestrians are crossing, vehicles may not notice walkers or runners because of the darkness and can ultimately hit them.
Crossing an Intersection Improperly
Pedestrians often make the mistake of thinking they always have the right-of-way, but they do not. When an individual tries to cross a street other than the designated crosswalk or tries to run across the road right in front of oncoming traffic, vehicles may not always stop in time—leading to deadly accidents.
Avoiding Pedestrian Accidents
No matter if you are a pedestrian or a motorist, there are specific actions you can take to help reduce these pedestrian accidents. These actions include the following:
What Motorists Can Do
- Slow down in areas where pedestrians are. It is hard to predict what a pedestrian can do, so even if you slow down just a bit, it can make a world of difference when you need to avoid an accident.
- Making eye contact with pedestrians can help you communicate and avoid confusion about who is going where on the roads.
- If a car stops in front of you, do not try to quickly drive around them. You do not know why the first vehicle stopped, and if you decide to dart around it, you can hit a pedestrian crossing the road.
What Pedestrians Can Do
- Stick to designated crosswalks or crossing areas. These areas are designed to help ensure you cross the road safely.
- Do not expect motorists to see you. Sometimes these drivers are distracted, under the influence, or just flat out do not realize you are there. Staying alert can help save your life.
- Even if a vehicle stops for you to cross, the cars behind them may not. That is why you always need to pay attention to other vehicles that may drive around the stopped car and end up crashing into you.
If a Pedestrian Accident Occurs, Make Sure You Get the Legal Help You Need
Sadly, sometimes no matter how many precautions you take, serious pedestrian accidents can occur. When this happens, you need experienced legal help on your side. That is why you need to retain the skilled personal injury attorneys at Charbonnet Law Firm, LLC and have these lawyers fight for the justice and damages you deserve. These attorneys can:
- Answer any questions or concerns you may have
- Go over all the possible legal actions you can take
- Investigate the accident thoroughly, gather critical evidence, and interview relevant witnesses that can help prove liability and damages
- Ensure that critical motions and legal documents are filed accurately and on time
- Handle all negotiations and discussions with the other side, ensuring your case is treated with respect
- If the other side is unwilling to negotiate, take your case to trial and go after maximum damages
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a New Orleans pedestrian accident, do not wait any longer. Contact the Charbonnet Law Firm, LLC today, or call our office at (504) 294-5094 and let our lawyers fight for you and your rights.