As a pedestrian, you’re more vulnerable than anyone else on the road. Without the protection of car walls, or even a helmet or other protective gear worn by smart motorcyclists or bicyclists, you have little safeguard if you become involved in an accident. When a driver chooses to drive carelessly, whether by looking at their phones while they’re behind the wheel, driving after having had one too many drinks, or simply by failing to look carefully at the road in front of them, pedestrians bear a very serious risk of injury. If you or someone you love has been the victim of a pedestrian accident in New Mexico, it’s likely that you’re facing enormous medical costs, lost wages, and physical pain stemming from your injuries. A skilled personal injury lawyer can help you to seek the damages you deserve after you’re injured by a careless driver, so that you can focus on healing after a major accident. Contact the seasoned Las Cruces pedestrian injury lawyer Samuel N. Kane for a free consultation on your legal options after an accident.
Rates of fatalities among pedestrian accidents on the rise
For the last three years, the rates of fatalities among pedestrian have been rising steadily. In fact, fatalities among pedestrians are growing faster than those in any other category of roadway occupant. The reason for the growth among pedestrian fatalities isn’t entirely clear to safety researchers. Some speculate that the growth in the economy and resulting increase in roadway miles traveled are to blame. Others believe that smartphone use may be responsible. When drivers spend time while behind the wheel on their phones, they become less likely to complete a full scan of the roadway ahead of them when making a turn or traveling through an intersection. This means that they become more likely to miss smaller objects in the road, such as cyclists and pedestrians.
Common causes of pedestrian accidents other than distracted driving include:
- Drunk driving: drunk drivers are much less likely to look at the roadway ahead than sober drivers. The delayed reaction times of drunk drivers also prevent them from avoiding colliding with pedestrians once they see them. Drunk driving is also much more likely to happen at night, when pedestrians are already more difficult to see.
- Accidents at intersections: Pedestrian accidents are common while pedestrians are crossing at a signaled intersection. Drivers who are making left-hand turns against traffic may fail to notice that a pedestrian is in the crosswalk, and while trying to race across the intersection ahead of oncoming cars, they don’t check to see whether pedestrians are walking before making the turn.
- Roads lacking crosswalks or adequate lighting: Poor municipal planning is to blame for some pedestrian accidents. When busy roads, especially those near schools, lack sufficient numbers of crosswalks or intersections, pedestrians may have no choice but to cross the road without the protection of a signal light or marked crosswalk, or perhaps without adequate lighting that would alert drivers to their presence. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, a pedestrian accident caused by unsafe roads or insufficient crosswalks may mean that the victim has a right to seek damages from the government offices responsible for failing to consider the safety of pedestrians when designing that stretch of road.
After a pedestrian accident, victims are likely focusing on recovering from their substantial injury. Having to negotiate with insurance or the at-fault driver can be time-consuming and stressful, especially when you’re trying to get your life back together. Hiring a personal injury attorney can make a significant difference in the amount you receive for your injuries, so you can focus on healing instead of fighting with insurers. The seasoned and knowledgeable personal injury lawyer Samuel N. Kane can provide a free consultation on your case and offer you a plan of action after a New Mexico pedestrian accident. Contact his offices today at 575-526-5263.